I’ve never really cared for pumpkin. It’s not a flavor I particularly care for, or at least I thought. Living in Italy during the fall you will see a lot of restaurants making recipes with pumpkin. I kept hearing people talk about the wonderful pumpkin gnocchi, pumpkin tortellini, and pumpkin pasta was at different places they’ve tried it. So, I decided to give it a try. Wow! It was delicious! I converted and would look for different menu items with pumpkin when it was that time of year. My favorite pumpkin dish is pumpkin gnocchi topped with smoked cheese. And the best place I’ve had it was at the Cordenons Festa della Zucca (Cordenons Pumpkin Festival). That gnocchi just melted in your mouth!!
A week or so ago a friend of mine sent me a link to a pumpkin pasta recipe. I couldn’t wait to try it. Right now we are staying with my MIL and she has a garden with quite a few pumpkins. My husband insisted that he did not want to try a pumpkin recipe, even though he loved the pumpkin gnocchi in Italy. He’s stubborn, what can I say. So, the other night he went to the Huskies football game and I stayed home and decided to make this dish so there wouldn’t be any huffing and puffing over it.
It took a little while to cut up the pumpkin. It wasn’t something I had done before besides the annual ritual of carving a jack-o-lantern. I wasn’t sure of the best way to go about it so I just went at it. I sliced it in half and pulled out all the seeds and guts. Then I sliced it into smaller pieces and used a paring knife to peel it. I chopped it up into bite sized pieces and realized I had way more than I needed. So, I saved half and used the other half.
The pasta came out really good but I think next time I’ll try it over gnocchi.
This recipe is from About.com and is linked below.
- 1 onion, peeled and finely chopped
- 1 pound bulk pork sage breakfast sausage ( our sausage didn’t have sage in it so I just added some)
- 4 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 1 pound (about 1-3/4 pounds whole pumpkin) pumpkin flesh, peeled seeded, and diced ( I think I ended up using about 2 lbs)
- 1 cup strong chicken or vegetable stock
- 1/2 cup heavy cream (since I had more pumpkin I used a whole cup of cream)
- 1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- 1/4 teaspoon salt
- Freshly ground black pepper
- 2 Tablespoons minced fresh parsley, or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
- 1 pound pasta, cooked in salted water
Meanwhile, bring pumpkin and chicken or vegetable stock to the boil in a medium saucepan. Cover, reduce heat, and simmer until tender, about 15 minutes. Add cream, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Smash pumpkin with the back of a large spoon and stir until almost smooth, leaving some small bits of pumpkin. Stir in sausage mixture, and gently reheat, adding a bit of the pasta water if it is too thick.
Stir parsley into the pumpkin sauce and serve over hot pasta.