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Pumpkin & Sausage Penne

I once made this dish for my Italian father-in-law, who swears he'll eat pasta only with red sauce. He loved it! — Karen Cambiotti, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania
  • Total Time
    Prep/Total Time: 30 min.
  • Makes
    2 servings


  • 3/4 cup uncooked penne pasta
  • 2 Italian sausage links, casings removed
  • 1/2 cup chopped sweet onion
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/3 cup white wine or chicken broth
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 3/4 cup chicken broth
  • 1/3 cup canned pumpkin
  • 3 teaspoons minced fresh sage, divided
  • 1/8 teaspoon each salt, pepper and ground cinnamon
  • Dash ground nutmeg
  • 3 tablespoons half-and-half cream
  • 2 tablespoons shredded Romano cheese


  • Cook pasta according to package directions. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, cook sausage over medium heat until no longer pink, breaking into crumbles. Remove with a slotted spoon; drain on paper towels. Discard drippings, reserving 1 teaspoon.
  • Cook and stir onion and garlic in oil and reserved drippings over medium-high heat until tender. Add wine and bay leaf. Bring to a boil; cook until liquid is reduced by half. Stir in the broth, pumpkin, 1-1/2 teaspoons sage and remaining seasonings; cook 1 minute longer. Add the cream and sausage; heat through. Remove bay leaf.
  • Drain pasta; transfer to a large bowl. Add sausage mixture; toss to coat. Sprinkle with cheese and remaining sage.
Nutrition Facts
1-1/3 cups: 490 calories, 23g fat (9g saturated fat), 61mg cholesterol, 950mg sodium, 42g carbohydrate (7g sugars, 4g fiber), 21g protein.

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  • Beckiboo
    Oct 3, 2017

    Absolutely one of our favorite "Kick Off Fall" dishes! I've made this for a few years now and have tried just about every kind of sausage with it. We like regular brats (casings removed) or a mild breakfast sausage we buy at a farm best. I don't add any extra sage/spices or the cream to mine. This is a perfectly balanced, delicious and easy dish to make!

  • angelasandoval
    Oct 29, 2015

    Wasn't quite sure what to expect going into this one but it was super-delicious! The whole family loved it! I did use the wine but didn't add the cinnamon and nutmeg because I'm not a huge fan of those flavors in savory dishes (and when I tasted it, I didn't think it could be improved upon). And I used parmigiano reggiano instead of Romano because it was what I already had on hand.

  • he-rowe
    Aug 4, 2014

    Wonderful! This was quick and easy to make. The pumpkin makes the dish different, but the Romano MAKES the dish. I am mildly allergic to milk, but was able to use Silk Soy Creamer as a substitute. I had no sub for the cheese, however so I used it sparingly on my portion. I used stock instead of broth, ground Italian sausage and unoaked chardonnay. Even my 2-1/2 year old loved it!

  • Rellierae
    Jan 19, 2013

    This is different. I doubled the recipe, used Italian chicken sausage and evaporated milk instead of cream. I liked it a lot.

  • catgrl_22
    Dec 13, 2012

    I double this recipie just to have leftovers!

  • bschuck
    Nov 14, 2012

    Very good! I have been in the mood trying new recipes lately. This was a nice change from the usual. I served it with steamed asparagus.

  • netta68
    Nov 12, 2012

    sending this recipe to my family to make too! We didnt use the sage due to young children eating it as well. YUM!

  • Smvm
    Oct 26, 2012

    Yuck! This was very bad. We are not picky eaters, but no one liked it.

  • cricket1340
    Oct 24, 2012

    Super fast and different recipe to make after work. I reduced the chicen broth to 1/2 cup, upped the wine to 1/2 cup for a sweeter pasta for my tastes, dried sage and used what apple turkey sausage I had on hand. I didn't have any penne so I used what I had, fusilli. Definitely will make agaiin.

  • ajbdndl
    Oct 23, 2012

    Doubled this recipe. It's a unique pasta dish & great alternative to pasta with tomato sauce. My picky 3 year old actually ate this. My sauce turned out a little thin, but thickened as it rested. I liked the sage/cinnamon/nutmeg combination with the pumpkin. I will most likely make this again, but it will probably just be a seasonal meal.