Creamy Pumpkin Penne

by Beth on November 16, 2011

Creamy Pumpkin Penne

I have a confession to make.  As much as I love pumpkin baked goods, I have never tried a savory pumpkin dish.  I’m not a fan of squash, so pumpkin seemed infinitely unlikable.  I definitely had to step out of my comfort zone to make this dish, and I’m thrilled that I did.  While preparing the meal, there were a few times when the sauce smelled way too much like straight up pumpkin puree and I thought that there was no way that it would turn out well.  But it did.  The sauce boasts a mild pumpkin flavor with a hint of nutmeg and sweetly caramelized onion.

While completely different than anything I have ever tried, the seemingly disparate flavors combine product a hearty meal that’s perfect for fall.

Creamy Pumpkin Penne
Yields 2 dinner servings

4 oz penne pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
about 2T chopped fresh sage
2 links cooked chicken sausage, sliced
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (1% milk fat)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup nonfat milk
pinch of nutmeg
3oz torn spinach, thick stems removed
grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, optional

1. Prepare pasta according to package directions.
2. Over medium-low heat, heat olive oil in a skillet. Add onions and cook gently for about 10-15minutes, until softened and beginning to caramelize. Continue to saute, adding garlic, sage, and chicken sausage.
3. Combine pumpkin puree, cottage cheese and milk in a blender, blending until no lumps are present.
4. Add creamy pumpkin mixture to sausage mixture in skillet, continuing to cook over low heat.
5. Season sauce to taste with salt, freshly ground pepper and a pinch of nutmeg.
6. Drain pasta and return to pot over low heat. Add sausage mixture and spinach, and toss together. Cover for a few minutes to let the spinach wilt. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.

Source: Cara’s Cravings

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