As some of you might know, I like pumpkin. A LOT. I typically cook with it in the autumn and winter months, so just get ready...
2 TB olive oil
1lb. bulk sweet Italian sausage
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf
2 tsp. sage
1 c. dry white wine (I substitute chicken broth, but it does make a difference in flavor)
1 c. chicken broth
1 c. canned pumpkin
1/2 c. heavy cream
1/8 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1 lb. penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Heat a large skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil and brown the sausage. Transfer sausage to paper towel-lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.
Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.
Return drained pasta to the pot. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of cheese.
* I don't use the full pound of pasta or sausage, because we like the pasta to be more saucy.