Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Pumpkin Fusilli with Chicken Sausage and Thyme

A few weeks ago, I stumbled upon this recipe adapted and blogged by Liz from Sequins & Stripes. I was intrigued, mostly because I while I'm a fan of Pumpkin Pie, I wasn't sure about how pumpkin would be in a pasta dish.

There were a few ingredients in Liz's version that I didn't love for a savory dish (cinnamon, nutmeg, and sage) so I decided to substitute a few things I do like (thyme, rosemary, and red pepper flakes)!

Pumpkin Fusilli with Chicken Sausage and Thyme

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound mild Italian chicken sausage
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
1/2 teaspoon rosemary, dried
1 cup dry white wine {I used my new French favorite, only $10 a bottle}
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/4 cup skim milk
1/2 teaspoon thyme, dried
1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flakes
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound fusilli pasta, cooked to al dente {we used whole wheat pasta}
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating


Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Clean the skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Add bay leaf, rosemary, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. {I would recommend using a whisk for this part, it helps to incorporate the pumpkin without splashing the wine and stock} Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in milk. Season the sauce with the thyme and red pepper flakes, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese.

Total time: 25 minutes     Servings: 4

The Review:

It was great! The sauce was creamy and hearty and the chicken sausage was a great addition. I was happy that the pumpkin wasn't too sweet, in fact, I almost couldn't even tell that it was pumpkin. This was a great way to make a creamy pasta sauce without actually using any cream!

In the future, I might try it without milk and maybe substitute a little goat cheese for some extra flavor! Adam and I each enjoyed a nice sized dinner portion and then had enough left over to save for three lunches (one for Adam and two for me)!

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

Hiatus and New Favorite Things

Wow! Talk about a serious hiatus. I can't believe that it's been two months since I've posted. This has definitely been the busy season for me at work...and I feel as though I've just looked up to notice that it's October...well, actually it is pretty much November.

The fall season is flying by and though I've enjoyed a few pumpkin spice lattes, I don't think I've really stopped to bask in all that is fall. Fall is one of my favorite season. I love the weather, the smells, the holidays and everything else that goes with fall (aside from the cold that my husband shared with me this week).

As you might have noticed, I've added quite a few blogs to my "These are a Few of My Favorite Things" list. And let me tell you, they are truly a few of my favorite things! Today I want to spotlight a few of the new blogs on my list and tell you a little about each one!

Atlantic-Pacific is a great fashion blog. The photography is excellent, and of course the outfits are amazing. I love that at the end of each post, the author lists all of the components of each "look" right down to the lipstick color. I cannot tell you how many times I've seen a lipstick or nail polish color on a blog or in a magazine and been so disappointed because the color and brand weren't listed!

Carolina Charm is one of my new go-to blogs for party planning, recipes, and decorating tips. Christina, a fellow Carolina girl, shares great information on decorating, and easy recipes. And, she and her husband are expecting their first little one. I'm excited to follow her blog through such an exciting time. I feel like she'll have great tips and ideas for those of us who haven't quite jumped on the baby band wagon!

Designer Bags and Dirty Diapers is another one of my favorites! Natalie is a stay at home mom with a son, and a sweet baby on the way. She writes about fashion, home decor, and shares her favorites recipes. Her blog is down to earth and very fun! And...she occasionally has blog sales, which always feature some fun and very stylish items. I'm dying to try out a blog sale!

Paris in Four Months is an absolutely stunning blog. The author, a photographer, takes beautiful pictures of her travels. She is a fashion photographer, but seems to have a flair for photographing food and the streets of Paris. Adam and I are planning to head to France in February, so I like to check in on Carin's blog every few days to see what else I'm going to have to add to Paris to-do list!

Last, but not least, I want to introduce you to Sequins & Stripes. Liz is a fashion blogger living in Chicago. She has a classic style with a fun and funky twist. She's just gotten engaged and I can't wait to hear more about her wedding plans! She also posts some great recipes from time to time! I'll be blogging about one soon!

These are just a few of my NEW Favorite Things. You'll have to check them out!