Mama, Can I Lick the Spoon?

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Penne with Pumpkin and Sausage Ragu


I have to admit that I am not one of those people who is offended by all the pumpkin spice items that are so readily available during this season.  I actually love it.  Pumpkin spice latte, cookies, Pop Tarts, popcorn.  I like pumpkin!  One of my favorite recipes is Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Muffins.  They are a family favorite!

This recipe is a little off the beaten track of the whole pumpkin spice movement.

It is not sweet or spiked with cinnamon.  It’s a savory variety of pumpkin.  In fact, if you didn’t know there was pumpkin in it, you’d never guess!  This sauce is creamy – even though there’s no cream in it – and delicious.

Penne with Pumpkin and Sausage Ragu

  • 1 pound of ground sausage
  • 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree (not pie filling)
  • 1 cup of white wine
  • 2 cups of chicken broth
  • 1 tablespoon of minced garlic
  • 2 tablespoons of finely chopped parsley
  • 1/2 teaspoon of cumin
  • 2 tablespoons of Cajun mustard
  • 1 teaspoon of salt (more to taste)
  • 1 pound of penne pasta, cooked according to package directions

In a large skillet, brown the sausage until cooked through.  Add the pumpkin puree and stir over medium high heat.  Add the white wine, broth, garlic, parsley, cumin, mustard, and salt.  Stir to combine and simmer over low heat for 5-10 minutes.

When pasta is cooked, drain and add to the skillet, tossing to coat with the sauce.

Well Duh #1:  We don’t drink alcohol, so I used the cheap white cooking wine that you find with the vinegar.  If you have “real” white wine, use it.

Well Duh #2:  If you can’t find Cajun mustard, use any whole grain mustard.

Well Duh #3:  I used turkey sausage, so there was nothing to drain after I’d browned it.  If you have lots of grease in the bottom of the pan after browning, you’ll want to drain it before adding the rest of the ingredients.

I didn’t tell the tribe what was in the sauce until after they were eating it.  They didn’t mind because it was so yummy!  One of them even accused me of being dishonest because “there is no way there is pumpkin in this!”

It’s really yummy!  Try this savory take on pumpkin.  You’ll love it, too!



  1. Mmmmm! I have some leftover squash. I wonder if that would be good for duplicating this recipe…

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