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Monday, October 19, 2009

Pumpkin Penne

For a few years we have enjoyed a pumpkin sauce over pasta and turkey sausage, but I never got around to sharing it on here. Partly, I'm sure, because I have no idea where the recipe came from, and it certainly didn't come from my head. I decided it was about time to put it back on the menu, but when I pulled out the recipe I realized it used a butter/flour mixture to thicken it.

Certainly there is nothing terribly wrong with a tablespoon or two of butter throughout the dish, but I had recently been reminded of Cara's version using cottage cheese. I decided to give Cara's recipe a try and I'm so glad we did! I didn't miss the butter and the sauce really stuck to the pasta, vegetables, and sausage. I made a few small changes, using kale for the spinach and turkey sausage for the chicken (at least, I think it was turkey sausage... I must remember to label my freezer bags!). This version isn't quite as pumpkin-y as the old one, so next time I might increase the amount of pumpkin and slightly decrease the milk/cottage cheese. Either way, it's a wonderfully delicious fall meal!

Creamy Pumpkin Penne
Source: Cara's Cravings

  • 4 oz penne pasta
  • 2 tsp olive oil
  • 1 small onion, thinly sliced (about 75 g)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 2 Tablespoons 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
  • 5oz torn spinach, thick stems removed
  • grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, optional
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook gently for about 10-15minutes, until softened and beginning to caramelize. Add garlic, sage, and chicken sausage; continue to saute.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

3. In a blender, combine combine pumpkin, cottage cheese, and milk. Blend until no lumps are present. Add to sausage mixture in skillet and continue to cook over low heat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.

4. Drain pasta and return to pot over low heat. Add sausage mixture and baby spinach, and toss together until the spinach is wilted. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.


Bridget said...

This was on kmays' blog a few days ago too! It caught my eye then, and now you've reinforced it - it looks great!

Jen said...

I really need to make this. I've been eyeing it for some time now... Yours looks great.

Anonymous said...

seriously looks so good. The creamy sauce with that chicken sausage looks SOOOOO good.

Michele said...

What do you think of using Ricotta instead of the Cottage Cheese? I'm not a fan of cottage cheese. The only thing is I'm not sure if it will change the texture. It probably will.

Stefany said...

I'm not sure, either, but you could try asking Cara. What is it you don't like about cottage cheese? When it's all blended up, it's just a way to facilitate a creamy texture. It doesn't taste or look like cottage cheese.

Karine said...

Your pasta sounds amazing! Cottage cheese seems to be a great substitution to butter.

Brittney said...

I just made the recipe using part-skim ricotta instead of cottage cheese, and it came out great! It was still creamy and smooth. I also used about 1 t. of dried thyme instead of the sage, and enjoyed it very much. Thanks for posting the recipe!

Sarah said...

Just made this tonight and we LOVED it! I used frozen chopped spinach in place of the fresh and it was delish. Thanks for such a yummy and guilt-free recipe!