Nov 28, 2007

Penne with Pumpkin and Sausage

I've held onto this recipe for awhile, as I'm always looking for new squash/pumpkin recipes, and this one intrigued me. Maybe because it's savory instead of sweet. It's from a magazine about Italian cooking, so that was intriguing too. Plus the picture looked delicious!

I used a smallish pumpkin I'd purchased around Halloween. I'd done some reading on the internet, and it seems that pumpkin and squash are very close. (Read the comments. There are some good ideas for using pumpkin in there!) In fact, it seems that Dickinson Squash is currently packaged and sold as Libby's canned pumpkin.

My own pumpkin, however, tasted nothing like the canned variety. It didn't have much flavor of it's own, but it picked up the savory flavors of this dish quite nicely. It was a bit of work skinning and dicing the pumpkin, but it was well worth the effort!

Don't leave out the pepper - I think it's an important ingredient here. Also, it was good garnished with parmesean cheese!

1 lb penne (or ziti, mastacholi, or trenne)
8 oz pork sausage (Jimmy Dean's Hot sausage)
1 tsp chopped rosemary, plus extra sprigs for garnish
1 onion, diced small
10 oz. pumpkin, peeled and seeds removed
freshly ground pepper
1/2 cup dry white wine


Bring a large pot of water to a boil.

Meanwhile, remove the sausage from it's casing (if necessary), and put it into a skillet over medium heat. Add the chopped rosemary, and cook, stirring occasionally, until the sausage starts to brown, about 7 minutes. Thinly slice/dice the onion. Add to the skillet, and cook for about 5 minutes, or until soft. Dice the squash, add to the skillet, and season with salt and pepper. Deglaze the pan with the wine, and cook until it evaporates. Cover and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 7 minutes.

Add salt and pasta to the pot of water, and cook until the pasta is al dente. Drain the pasta, and add to the skillet. Toss well, and transfer to a serving bowl. To serve, finish with a grinding of pepper, and garnish with a sprig of rosemary. Serves 4-6.

Adapted from La Cucina Italiana - Quick and Easy, edition unknown
Note: The original recipe, called "Trenne with Squash and Sausage" called for Trenne pasta, winter squash instead of pumpkin, and 1 leek - white and light green parts only, instead of onion.