As soon as I saw pumpkin and butternut squash at the market, I thought I had to make this dish. For flavoring, I went out to the herb garden and picked some fresh sage leaves. Of course, our dog Bandit followed me like a shadow.
Traditionally, sage is used in stuffing, sausages and casseroles. A little goes a long way when using sage. It has a slightly minty, savory flavor.
Don’t be intimidated when using butternut squash. Cut off the stem part, then cut it in half lengthwise. Next, scoop out all the seeds and stringy guts using a melon baller or large spoon. After that, use a vegetable peeler to peel off the skin. Finally, use a sharp knife to cut it in small cubes.
Using canned pumpkin puree for the sauce is a good shortcut to avoid more peeling, cutting and cooking fresh pumpkin. It really saves a lot of time.
I love the chicken garlic romano sausage from our local market so that’s what I used here. What a great flavor compliment to the sauce.
If you love pasta, treat yourself with this dish this autumn. I think you will like it just as we do. Sometimes, I like to add toasted walnuts on top to kick it up a notch.
Pumpkin Sage Rigatoni with Chicken Sausage and Butternut Squash
- 8 oz. rigatoni
- ½ can canned pumpkin puree about 7 oz.
- 2 chicken Romano sausage skin removed
- ½ onion diced
- ½ medium butternut squash peeled, seeded and cubed to 1/2 inch, about 2 1/2 cups
- 1 garlic clove minced
- 4 fresh sage leaves chopped
- 2 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp butter
- ¼ cup grated parmiggiano reggiano cheese plus more for serving
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper to taste
- 1 cup half and half
- Boil water in a pot for the pasta on high heat. Meanwhile, heat oil in a saute pan on medium/high heat. Cook butternut squash in hot oil, making sure to spread it in one layer. Season lightly with salt and freshly ground pepper. Let cook for 4 minutes. Flip it over and cook the other side for another 3-4 minutes until tender. Transfer it into a plate and set aside.
- Drop pasta in boiling water and add 1 tsp salt. Mix it once and let cook for 11 mins. Turn down heat to medium after it boils.
- Meanwhile, brown the sausage in the same pan. Break it in 1/2 inch sections as it cooks. Turn it once and cook the other side. Transfer to a plate and set aside.
- Saute onion in the same pan for 2 mins. on medium heat. If pan gets dry add a little more oil. Stir in garlic and sage. Let it cook for 10 seconds. Add in pumpkin puree, butter and half and half. Season lightly with salt and pepper to your taste. Stir and let simmer for 1 min.
- Turn off heat. Drain pasta and add it into the pumpkin sauce. Stir in cooked butternut squash, browned sausage and 1/4 cup parmiggiano cheese. When serving, sprinkle with more parmiggiano cheese on top.