I have to tell you — Nick Stellino is one of my favorite TV chefs. He has a charming style and makes the most complicated dishes seem relatively easy.
I saw him prepare this recipe a couple of weeks ago, and needless to say, I couldn’t wait to try it myself. It’s really simple, and the combination of ingredients is a welcome deviation from the typical pasta sauce.
If you love garlic, throw in a few extra cloves:
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 pound spicy Italian sausage, casing removed
- 1 cup chopped onion
- 15 cloves garlic, thickly sliced
- 3 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- Â¼ teaspoon red pepper flakes
- 1Â¼ cups white wine
- 1Â¼ cups canned pumpkin puree
- 2 cups turkey stock
- salt and pepper to taste
- 1 tablespoon salt
- 1 pound penne, penne rigate, rigatoni or tortiglioni
- 6 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, optional
- In a large, deep sautÃ© pan, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil over high heat for 2 minutes. Add the sausage and cook until brown, about 3 minutes. While it browns, break it up into bite-sized pieces with the back of a wooden spoon. Turn off heat and remove the sausage to a bowl with a slotted spoon. Cover and set aside.
- Keep 1 tablespoon of the oil in the pan, and discard the rest. Add the remaining 3 tablespoons olive oil, and cook over medium heat for 3 minutes. Add the onion, garlic, and sage, and cook for 10 minutes, stirring well, until the onion and garlic start to brown. Add the sausage and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well. Deglaze the pan with the wine and cook for 8 minutes, stirring well to dislodge any browned bits from the bottom of the pan.
- Add the pumpkin purÃ©e and cook for 2 minutes, stirring well. Add the stock and cinnamon if desired, bring to a boil over high heat, then reduce heat and simmer for 30 minutes. Add salt and pepper to taste.
- While the sauce is cooking, bring a large pot of water, with the 1 tablespoon of salt added to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook according to the instructions of the package. Drain well in a colander over the sink and pour back into the pot. Add the sauce and cook over medium heat for 3 to 5 minutes, stirring constantly. Remove from heat, add the Parmesan if desired and serve.