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Pumpkin Pasta with Italian Sausage

Pumpkin Pasta with Italian Sausage is velvety, cheesy, with hints of earthy pumpkin to lighten the sauce from your regular Mac n Cheese.  A simple dinner choice for entertaining on a work night.

Plate of pumpkin pasta

Pumpkin Pasta with Italian sausage is a comfort food recipe that is full of comfort, but because you are using pumpkin too its a little bit lighter than your normal pasta and cheese sauce.  This recipe is adapted from Alton Brown’s Baked Macaroni and Cheese….

Points of Interest for Pumpkin Pasta with Italian Sausage

  1. The pumpkin in this comes from canned pumpkin. But if you want the best you can make your own in no time with this homemade pumpkin puree in the instant pot.
  2.  You can also make your own fresh pumpkin in the oven by cutting the pumpkin in half, scooping out the seeds, and then placing on a baking sheet in the oven at 375° for an hour.  (Wrap the pumpkin halves in foil). Once finished scoop out the puree and blend in a blender.  Your pasta will have a little more texture in the pasta.  
  3. If you have a company that is a vegetarian, it’s really easy to omit the Italian sausage in here.  It’s cooked completely separately and added at the last minute so you can actually serve both meat eaters and non-meat eaters with no additional steps!
  4. .  You can also lighten up the calories by using chicken instead of sausage.
dinner table setting of pumpkin sausage noodles and a bowl of parmesan

Looking for other comfort food recipes for entertaining?

Yield: 8

Pumpkin Pasta with Italian Sausage

Pumpkin Pasta with Italian Sausage is velvety, cheesy, with hints of earthy pumpkin to lighten the sauce from your regular Mac n Cheese.  A simple weeknight dinner choice for entertaining on a work night.

Pumpkin Pasta with Italian Sausage is velvety, cheesy, with hints of earthy pumpkin to lighten the sauce from your regular Mac n Cheese.  A simple dinner choice for entertaining on a work night.

Prep Time 15 minutes
Cook Time 20 minutes
Total Time 35 minutes

Ingredients

  • 1 pound rigatoni pasta
  • 6 tablespoons butter
  • 6 tablespoons flour
  • 21/2 cups milk
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree , (see post for subbing fresh pumpkin)
  • 1/2 cup onion, , minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground nutmeg
  • 1 bayleaf
  • 12 0unces sharp cheddar, shredded
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon pepper
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1 pound sweet Italian sausage

Instructions

  1. Bring a pot of water to boil, large enough to accommodate the box of pasta.  Add 1 teaspoon salt to water, add pasta and cook until al dente.  Drain once finished and set aside.
  2. While the pasta is cooking, in a medium stock pot, melt butter.  Add flour and nutmeg to butter and whisk to remove all lumps.  Add pumpkin and stir for 5 minutes.  Add milk, onion, bay leaf and pepper.  On medium heat, simmer for 10 minutes as it starts to thicken.  Remove the bay leaf.
  3. Add cheese and stir until well combined and cheese is completely melted.
  4. By this time your pasta will be done, Dump drained pasta into the pumpkin cheese mix
  5. Heat skillet to high, then add 1 teaspoon olive oil.  Remove sausage from casing if purchased in casings, and crumble large pieces into skillet and cook until cooked through and lightly browned.  (about 12 minutes)
  6. Dump sausage onto pasta and pumpkin and cheese mixture and stir until combined.
  7. Serve immediately.  Optional, sprinkle toasted pine nuts and parmesan over the top.

Nutrition Information:

Yield:

8

Serving Size:

8 Servings

Amount Per Serving: Calories: 688Saturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 1048mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 27g

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