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.
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
- The pumpkin in this comes from canned pumpkin. I highly recommend Libby’s pumpkin. Not an affiliate link, it’s just what my Grandma used, what my Mom used and now what I used! It’s just good!
- You can make your own fresh pumpkin but 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. It tastes very fresh but most of the time I find the canned works better.
- If you have a company that is a vegetarian, its 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!
- . You can also lighten up the calories by using chicken instead of sausage.
Looking for other comfort food recipes for entertaining?
- 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
- 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.
- 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.
- Add cheese and stir until well combined and cheese is completely melted.
- By this time your pasta will be done, Dump drained pasta into the pumpkin cheese mix
- 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)
- Dump sausage onto pasta and pumpkin and cheese mixture and stir until combined.
- Serve immediately. Optional, sprinkle toasted pine nuts and parmesan over the top.
Serving Size:8 Servings
Amount Per Serving: Calories: 688Saturated Fat: 21gCholesterol: 110mgSodium: 1048mgCarbohydrates: 49gFiber: 2gSugar: 2gProtein: 27g
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