And Fall is for knitting and football and easy, delicious comfort food. I spent much of the afternoon Sunday on the couch knitting my Noro Ribbed Capelet and watching football. I've finished my 10" and am just beginning the decreases. I love the way the colors are coming out.
Such an easy, mindless knit, I could devote all my attention to watching the Redskins defeat the Chargers in overtime. Even if you're not a Redskins fan, it was an exhilarating game, and fun to see such athleticism on both teams. I could be a couch potato and knit all afternoon because earlier in the day I'd put together a quintessential autumn meal of pasta with Italian sausage, fresh sage, and pumpkin. It's a beautiful and delicious dish my friend Kathleen had served at book club last month, and I'd been eager to share it with my gang. I think the recipe had originally come from Rachel Ray here, but Kathleen had made some tweaks and was gracious enough to share her version.
Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage
- 2 T olive oil
- 1 lb sweet Italian Sausage
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 bay leaf
- 4-6 fresh sage leaves (or 2 tsp dried)
- 1 c dry white wine
- 14 oz. chicken stock
- 1 1/2 c canned pumpkin
- 1/2 c heaving cream
- 2 pinches cinnamon
- 1 pinch nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste (I like a lot of freshly ground pepper in this dish)
- 1 lb penne or shell pasta
- 4 oz Parmesan cheese, shredded
Brown the sausage in 1 T oil. Remove sausage from pan and set aside. Add the remaining 1T oil to the pan and saute onion and garlic till tender and golden. Add the bay leaf, sage, and wine, and cook 2 minutes. Add chicken broth, sausage, and pumpkin and bring to a boil. Reduce heat, stir in the cream, and season with salt and pepper to taste. You can make this ahead and refrigerate it until dinner time while you go and knit. When it's time to eat, cook pasta just until it's al dente, drain, and toss with the sauce. Stir in the cheese and serve.
Everyone liked this a lot - even Colton. The pumpkin flavor isn't very pronounced, but gives the dish a wonderful earthy quality. Thank you, Kathleen, for the recipe and thank you to my foodie friend Mary still has fresh sage growing in her garden. What would life be without wonderful friends to share recipes, herbs, and knitting? Enjoy.