Penne with Sausage and Pumpkin

Updating a family classic, this hearty penne recipe celebrates the flavors of fall!


  • 1 small sugar pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon EVOO, plus more for drizzling
  • Salt and pepper
  • 1 pound penne or whole wheat penne
  • 1 pound good-quality bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 3 large shallots, finely chopped
  • 3-4 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • A handful of fresh sage leaves, very thinly sliced
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock
  • Freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup cream
  • Freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese


Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.

Split the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds. Rinse and dry the seeds and arrange them on a small baking sheet. Drizzle the pumpkin with a light layer of EVOO and season liberally with salt and pepper. Roast the pumpkin until very tender. Scoop the pumpkin flesh out and add to a food processor and puree until smooth.

Heat a large pot of water to boil; salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente.

Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon EVOO, a turn of the pan, in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the sausage to pan, brown and crumble it, then add the shallots and garlic and cook until tender, 3-4 minutes. Add the sage and deglaze the pan with the wine. Stir the pumpkin into the pan and thin out the consistency with chicken stock to form a sauce, then season with salt, pepper and freshly grated nutmeg, to taste. Reduce the heat to low and stir in the cream, a couple of turns of the pan.

Reserve a little starchy cooking water before draining the pasta. Drain the pasta and add it to the sauce; use the reserved starchy cooking water if the mixture gets a little too tight. Top the pasta with cheese and serve.

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