Yup. I did it. I went and added pumpkin to pasta. And guess what?
It was DELICIOUS! Pumpkin sausage spinach pasta bake. You're going to love it.
The rain has fully returned to Seattle. I got straight up stuck in a down pour on Monday, which is SO rare. Usually this area is the ultimate champion of "the mist effect" where is just seems to ever so lightly drizzle sideways. So when I wake up and see gray skies and wet ground, I tend to think no rain coat necessary. Definitely no umbrella. No umbrella ever actually, it's one of the ways to tell a local from a tourist. If there is an umbrella, you're probs not from around here, or you're brand new. Weird right?
Anyhoo, went about my usual gray day, misty business and then as I happened to be outside, far from any overhang, the storm clouds opened up wide and drenched me.
SO rude! But at the same time, I couldn't help but smile (once I got inside of course) because that means summer really is all done. Time to move on to pumpkin season and I'm ridiculously happy about it.
Speaking of pumpkin...right off the bat, let's delve into that sauce. The secret ingredient? Creamy ricotta cheese. Just dump it in the pot with the pumpkin puree and stir together with all the other fixings. Plus, a dash of cinnamon and the tiniest pinch of nutmeg for a little fall flavor.
To keep this pumpkin sausage spinach pasta bake from getting too sweet (you know how that happens with pumpkin flavored things), I use chicken broth, fresh sage, onion, garlic, spinach and italian sausage to keep it savory. Speaking of which, I generally use spicy Italian sausage but I went for mild this time to keep the focus on the pumpkin. However, if you want to add a little heat to your pasta bake, definitely substitute with the spicy alternative!
Well what are you waiting for?? Get into the season with a pumpkin sausage spinach pasta bake before the stores start selling Christmas decorations! (Seriously though, can't they wait until at least after Halloween to start that business?).Print
An easy, delicious pasta casserole dinner done in 30 minutes with all your favorite autumn flavors!
- 1 lb rotini pasta
- 1 lb mild Italian sausage (use spicy Italian sausage for a little heat)
- 1/2 yellow onion, diced
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 6 fresh sage leaves, minced
- 2 cups baby spinach, packed
- 1/4 cup dry white wine (I used a Chardonnay)
- 1 cup chicken broth
- 15 ounces pumpkin puree
- 3/4 cup ricotta cheese
- 1/2 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
- 1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg
- Coarse salt and fresh ground black pepper to taste
- 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil (you don't need much as the sausage will get you plenty of fat on its own!)
- Cook pasta to al dente according to box instructions, drain and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Grease a 9X13 inch baking dish.
- Heat olive oil over medium high heat. Add sausage and cook until browned and no longer pink.
- Add the onion, spinach, and garlic. Cook for 3-4 minutes until the onion is somewhat softened, the spinach is wilting, and the garlic is fragrant.
- Pour in wine and scrape up any browned bits on the bottom of the pan. Stir in pumpkin puree, ricotta cheese, chicken broth, sage, cinnamon, and nutmeg until combined. Cook 1-2 minutes until bubbling. Remove from heat. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- Combine cooked rotini and pumpkin sausage spinach sauce in the prepared baking dish, stirring gently to combine. Top with half of the parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 15-20 minutes, until cheese is melted and sauce is bubbling around the edges. Remove from heat and top with remaining parmesan cheese. Serve immediately.