Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

  • Level: Easy
  • Yield: 4 servings
  • Total: 25 min
  • Prep: 10 min
  • Cook: 15 min


1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon

1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage

4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 bay leaf, fresh or dried

4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons

1 cup dry white wine

1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream

1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated

Coarse salt and black pepper

1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente

Romano or Parmigiano, for grating

Pumpernickel or whole grain bread, as an accompaniment

Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion, as an accompaniment, recipe follows

Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion:

1 pound triple-washed spinach, de-stemmed

1 small Golden Delicious apple, quartered, cored, and sliced

1/4 small red onion, thinly sliced

1/4 cup olive oil

1 1/2 tablespoons (a couple of splashes) apple cider vinegar

1 teaspoon grain mustard

1 tablespoon (a good drizzle) honey

Coarse salt and black pepper


  1. Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.
  2. Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.
  3. Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.
  4. Serve pumpkin sausage pasta with pumpernickel or whole grain bread and Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion.

Spinach Salad with Apple and Red Onion:

  1. Place spinach, apple, and onion in a salad bowl. Place oil, vinegar, mustard and honey in a small plastic container and fit lid on container. Shake dressing to combine, 1 minute. Pour dressing over salad, toss, and season with salt and pepper, to taste.
Let's Get Cooking!

Sign up for the Recipe of the Day newsletter to receive editor-picked recipes,tips and videos delivered to your inbox daily. Privacy Policy

Thanks for subscribing to the Recipe of the Day newsletter. Check out all our other great newsletters from Easy Recipes, Healthy Eating Ideas and Chef Recipe Videos.

We're sorry, there was an error signing you up. Please try again later.


325 Reviews


This has been a fall go-to meal in our house for years. I decided tonight to experiment with making it into a one-pan pasta. I can definitively say that the experiment was a resounding success! First I sauteed the sausage and onions and garlic. Then I deglazed the pan with one cup of white wine (chardonnay) I then added 3 cups of chicken stock, pureed pumpkin, the sage, bay leaf, cinnamon and nutmeg. I put the pasta into this mixture as it boiled (note, the sausage, onions and garlic are still in the pan). After the pasta hit mostly al dente, I added the cream and the cheese and finished the cooking. I corrected the seasoning and served it. The silky texture of the sauce from the pasta starch took this amazing recipe over the top!

See All Reviews