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.
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.