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)!

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