Thursday, 15 December 2011

Pumpkin Sausage Pasta with Spinach & Pear Salad

This pasta has become a tradition for every Fall in our house.  As soon as the temperatures start dropping one of us always has the taste for this dish.  The spinach salad goes perfect with it and we usually serve fresh pumpernickel bread as well.  This dish is one of those dishes that tastes like you spent all day cooking, but it really is very simple.

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

  • 1 Tbl. extra virgin olive oil, plus one more
  • 1 yellow onion, chopped
  • 1 lb. sweet or hot Italian sausage (we use hot)
  • 4 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves, dried
  • 4-6 sprigs of sage, finely chopped (2 Tbl)
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1/8 tspn. cinnamon
  • 1/2 tspn. nutmeg
  • salt & pepper
  • 1 lb. penne pasta
  • Parmesan cheese for topping
-Heat in a large skillet 1 Tbl. of the oil and brown the sausage by breaking it into small pieces.  When cooked, transfer sausage to a paper towel lined plate.  Add remaining oil, then garlic and onion and saute for 3-5 minutes.  Add bay leaves, sage and wine to pan.  Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes.  Add stock and pumpkin and stir.  Stir sauce until it starts to bubble.  Return sausage to pan, reduce heat and stir in cream.  Season the sauce with cinnamon and nutmeg, then salt and pepper.  Simmer mixture for 5-10 minutes to thicken the sauce.  Cook pasta as directed.  Drain and then add pasta to the sauce.  Remove the bay leaves and stir to combine.  Garnish pasta with Parmesan and chopped sage

I love this salad.  I don't usually measure anything for the dressing, so be sure to taste as you are making it to see if you need to add more of something.  I love blue cheese, but its not for everyone...you can leave it out if you're not a fan.  Enjoy!

Spinach & Pear Salad
  • Spinach (1 bag)
  • 2 Pears, sliced
  • 1 cup dried cranberries
  • 1 cup candied pecans
  • Blue cheese
  • Red onion, sliced in thin slices
  • Dressing: Mix 2 Tbl. Dijon mustard, 3 Tbl. red wine vinegar, 1 garlic clove (chopped), 1 small shallot (chopped), salt & pepper to taste 

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