Monday, October 17, 2011

Fall Challenge #2- Pumpkin & Sausage Pasta Bake

Yes, I am still sticking to my Fall Cooking Challenge, despite my week break of social networking. I love cooking too much. And Matt & I have to eat, right?

So, when I initially saw this recipe, I was a little skeptical. Pumpkin is more for baked goods in my experience. But let me tell you- it was really good! Next time I'm going to half the amount of pasta. The recipe called for one pound, and I wasn't sure if that was dry or cooked. I'm assuming at this point it was cooked. Basically- do NOT cook 1 lb of pasta. Too much pasta so the sauce was too spread out. But otherwise, no complaints :)

The delicious pumpkin sauce
Notice the overflowing pasta
Yup, two casserole dishes worth
Baked and ready to eat! So good :)

Pumpkin & Sausage Pasta Bake
Source: I Was Born to Cook
1 pound Italian sausage
1 cup chopped onion
4 garlic cloves, chopped
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper
1 (15 oz) can pure pumpkin
1 1/4 cup chicken stock
1 tablespoon dried sage
pinch of salt
1/3 cup fat free half & half
1 pound penne pasta, cooked
2 tablespoons chopped parsley leaves
3/4 cup grated pecorino romano cheese

Preheat oven to 350 degrees.  Cook sausage in a large, deep skillet until brown.  Remove from skillet and drain over paper towel.  Set aside.

Using approximately 2 tablespoons of fat from sausage, saute onion, garlic and crushed red pepper until soft.  Stir in pumpkin, stock and sage.  Add salt.  Bring to a boil, then simmer for 5 minutes.

Stir in half & half and sausage and simmer until sauce comes together and thickens slightly.  Turn off heat.  Add pasta and parsley and gently toss all ingredients together to coat.

Grease a casserole dish and place mixture inside.  Top with grated cheese.  Bake for about 30-35 minutes, until top is golden brown.

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