Penne with Pumpkin, Sage, and Sausage


Starbucks has returned with the Pumpkin Spice Latte, which is how I gauge that it’s time again for cool weather, comfort food.  By November, I’m generally sick of all things pumpkin, but at this time of the year I’m always so optimistic and excited for the never-ending fall recipes I see across the Internet.

At this time of year you can welcome back some amazing ingredients, such as apples, sweet potatoes, pumpkin, and mushrooms.

Honestly, what’s not to love about this season?  The humidity is dying, the air is getting crisp, Michigan football is on TV, and you can finally start using that fireplace again for cozy evenings at home.

I came across this recipe as I was looking for a way to use up some Italian Sausage I had defrosted.  I figured this would be the perfect way to kick off the seasonal cooking (and use up some of my overgrown sage in the process!)  It utilizes pumpkin, but I like it because the pumpkin is not too overwhelming  in the dish.  Where there could be the potential for the pasta to be too sweet, the garlic, onions, wine, and sage pull it back into a delicious, savory dish.

Start by boiling water in a large pot and cooking your penne to al dente.  Set aside for future use.

Heat a large nonstick skillet over medium heat and add a tablespoon of olive oil to the pan.  Add the sausage and cook until broken up and browned.  Drain the sausage on a plate with paper towels.


Drain the grease from the pan, add another tablespoon of oil, and add the onions and garlic.  Saute until the onions are tender, about 3 to 5 minutes.

Next, add the bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan and cook until the wine has reduced by half, about 2 minutes.  Add the chicken stock and pumpkin puree to the sauce and stir until the sauce comes to a bubble.  Return the cooked sausage to the pan, reduce the heat, and add the heavy cream.  Simmer the mixture 5 to 10 minutes until the sauce thickens.

Remove the bay leaf and then add the drained pasta to the sauce.  Toss the mixture for about a minute until the sauce and pasta are thoroughly combined.

Garnish the pasta with freshly grated cheese and sage leaves.

If you’re not already there, this dish will get you in the fall spirit!  Helps if you consume with a tall glass of apple cider 🙂


  • 1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 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
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • Romano or Parmigiano, for grating

Yields 4-6 servings

Original Recipe Rachael Ray, Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

Tags: , , , , , ,

Categories: Meat, Pasta, Recipes

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4 Comments on “Penne with Pumpkin, Sage, and Sausage”

  1. September 22, 2012 at 4:29 pm #

    This looks lovely!

  2. September 23, 2012 at 8:05 am #

    Pumpkin and sage is one of my very favourite combinations. Lovely.

  3. September 24, 2012 at 8:21 pm #

    This was awesome. I think I missed the part that explained when to add in the cinnamon and nutmeg so I just threw it in with the heavy cream. Delicious!!!!

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