Pumpkin Pasta with Sage and Sausage will be a new fall favorite! With pumpkin purée, sage, chicken sausage, warming spices and a pasta of your choice, this cozy dinner recipe comes together easily.
Pumpkin pasta sauce fits into the season beautifully . . . .
In early fall — or even earlier — we start seeing pumpkins. Through windows, on doorsteps, in fields and in every single store — they’re everywhere. They’re starring in all sorts of recipes:
- pumpkin pies
- pumpkin cookies
- pumpkin coffee cake
- pumpkin bread puddings
- pumpkin mashed potatoes
- pumpkin braised short ribs
Ingredients for Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
(Often I suggest brands I love and use — they’re only suggestions, this is not a sponsored post.)
- dry pasta of your choice – My favorite for this pumpkin pasta sauce is Pappardelle. I love how the sauce clings to the long, flat and wide ribbons of pasta.
- extra virgin olive oil– I like this one.
- raw sweet Italian chicken sausage
- onion – Try to choose onions that are firm, heavy for their size and without bruises.
- garlic – Look for firm heads of garlic without any soft spots or green shoots, which is an indication it’s old.
- fresh sage leaves – Look for perky bunches and avoid any brown, bruised or yellow leaves.
- chili paste – This one is my favorite.
- dry sherry
- chicken stock – Try to purchase one with little to no sodium.
- pumpkin purée – Ideally organic.
- salt – I cook with Kosher salt. (It’s coarse and salts foods in a subtle way that enhances their flavor without making them taste salty.)
- black pepper – Freshly ground is best.
The combination of the earthy, pine-like sage flavor with the sweetness from the pumpkin is lovely.
How to Make it
(More detailed instructions are in the recipe card below.)
– Add the sausage to a large sauté pan. Break up the pieces with a wooden spatula and sauté just until cooked through over medium-low heat. (If there isn’t enough grease from the sausage, add a bit of olive oil.) Add the cooked sausage to a bowl and set aside.
– Add the onions and garlic to the same pan. Sauté, mixing often, until the onions are soft and beginning to brown.
– Return the cooked sausage to the pan and add the sage, cinnamon and chili paste. Mix and sauté for another few minutes to blend the flavors.– Turn the heat to high and add the sherry. Use a flat-edged spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken stock and pumpkin and stir until blended. Simmer for 5 minutes and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
– Add your cooked pasta to the pan and mix until it’s well coated with all of the ingredients. Let this cook on low heat just to be sure the pasta is hot.
Recipe Tips and Substitutions
- Pappardelle is my favorite pasta “shape” — I love wide noodles. You can, however, use any shape you like.
- Want to make this vegetarian? Easy — just omit the sausage and use vegetable stock. You’ll need to add about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to the recipe in the beginning, and sauté the onions and garlic in it. Then follow the same instructions.
- You can substitute dry sage for the fresh, using about ⅓ the amount.
- Any type of sausage can be used in this pumpkin pasta sauce. Sweet Italian, chicken, pork, whatever you like.
- Gluten-free? Use your favorite gluten-free pasta.
I would easily and happily serve this on its own — but, I do think it’s always nice to add a salad — something light, something fresh.
Persimmon Salad is perfect for fall and would be lovely with this pasta dish.
And of course, a fantastic loaf of rustic bread is in order.
Can you make it ahead?
- You can make the pumpkin pasta sauce the day before you want to serve it.
- To store it, let it come to room temperature, and pour it into an airtight container, then put it in the refrigerator. (If it’s too thick when you reheat it, add a bit more of the chicken stock.)
- I do not suggest making the pasta ahead of time.
- You can also freeze the sauce in airtight container for up to three weeks.
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Sage and Sausage is everything fall is meant to be in the kitchen — it’s full of warming spices, pumpkin and sage.
And it’s a hearty, scrumptious comfort food through and through!
I hope you love it!
Pumpkin Pasta Sauce Recipe
- 8 ounces dry pasta (shape of your choice)
- extra virgin olive oil for the pasta
- ¾ pound raw sweet Italian chicken sausage
- 2 cups thinly sliced yellow onion
- 2 teaspoons minced garlic
- 2 tablespoons finely chopped fresh sage leaves
- 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1 teaspoon chili paste
- ¼ cup medium dry sherry
- 1 cup chicken stock
- ½ cup pumpkin purée
- salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
- Cook the pasta. Cook the pasta in a large pot of boiling, salted water until it's al dente. (Al dente means "to the tooth." The pasta should be tender, but with a bite to it.) Drain the pasta, toss with a bit of olive oil, cover and set aside.
- Cook the sausage. Add the sausage to a large sauté pan. Break up the pieces with a wooden spatula and sauté just until cooked through, about 7 minutes. (If there isn't enough grease from the sausage, add a bit of olive oil.) Add the cooked sausage to a bowl and set aside.
- Sauté onions and garlic. Add the onions and garlic to the same pan over medium-low heat, adding a drizzle of oil if they begin to stick. Sauté, mixing often, until the onions are soft and beginning to brown, about 10 minutes.
- Add sausage, sage and spices. Return the cooked sausage to the pan and add the sage, cinnamon and chili paste. Mix and sauté for another few minutes to blend the flavors.
- Deglaze the pan and add remaining ingredients. Turn the heat to high and add the sherry. Use a flat-edged spatula to scrape the bottom of the pan -- to bring anything that's stuck back into the mixture.Add the chicken stock and pumpkin and stir until blended. Turn the heat to low, simmer for 5 minutes and then season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Combine the sauce with the pasta. Add the cooked Pappardelle to the pan and gently mix until it's well coated with all of the ingredients. Let this cook on low heat just to be sure the pasta is hot, about 4 minutes.
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