Are you one of THOSE people? One of the millions who only purchase pumpkins for decorations? Don’t feel singled out. The vast majority of all pumpkins purchased in the US is for decor. Beyond that, pureed pumpkin is purchased for the obligatory pumpkin pie, but that’s about where the pumpkin purchasing pauses.
Our autumnal friend deserves more attention than that. The uses for pumpkin go far beyond sweets. Today’s pumpkin fettuccine with sausage and sage proves that in delicious style. This dish is so satisfying. The layers of flavors beg you to put on a thick sweater and curl up on the sofa with a steamy bowl.
There is definitely a pumpkin flavor, but it is subtle. With the sausage and sage, it really just tastes more like fall stroganoff. The pumpkin in the pasta is almost unnoticeable, but it does add a very nice color. If you don’t have time to make the pasta from scratch any good fettuccine would be a fine substitution. However, nothing but nothing compares to freshly made pasta.
savour… pumpkin power
PUMPKIN FETTUCCINE WITH SAUSAGE AND SAGE
Before you start:
You can substitute regular salt for sea salt in the pasta, but use fine and not coarse salt.
The kneading matters. Turn on some music and use this as your workout for the day, but don’t skip this step.
These two go great together, but the pasta would be delicious with just a little brown butter, crispy fried sage leaves, and a light grating of nutmeg, too. I used Parmigiano for this recipe, but you could easily substitute Romano or Grana Padano with equally tasty results.
- 2 cups all-purpose flour
- 1/4 teaspoon fine sea salt
- 2 egg whites
- 1 yolk
- 4 tablespoons pumpkin puree
- 3-4 tablespoons water
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 3-4 Italian sausages (about 3/4 lbs) with casings removed
- 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 medium onion, diced
- 1 bay leaf
- 6-8 sage leaves (2 1/2 tablespoons) finely chopped
- 3/4 cup white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/2 heavy cream
- salt and pepper to taste
- whole sage leaves for garnish
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- Parmigiano for grating over the finished dish
- Whisk the flour and salt together and pour it into a mound on a clean work surface. Pinch all of your fingers together and poke them in the center of the mound to form a well.
- In a small bowl, beat the egg whites and yolk slightly. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Pour the egg/pumpkin mixture into the well of the flour mound.
- Pulling from the outside inward, begin swirling and mixing the flour into the wet ingredients. Mix until all flour is moistened. Add water gradually while mixing to form a dough ball that is slightly moist, but not sticky.
- Lightly dust your work surface with flour and knead the dough for 8-10 minutes dusting the surface with flour again as needed. Roll the dough into a ball and cover with an inverted bowl. Allow dough to rest for 20 minutes.
- After resting, pass the dough through a pasta machine according to the manufacturer’s instructions for fettuccine. If you are not using a pasta machine, roll out the dough on a lightly floured surface thinly ( a little less than 1/16 inch). Cut the rolled dough with a pizza cutter about 1/4 inch wide.
- Lightly toss cut pasta with flour and store in an airtight container in the refrigerator until ready to cook.
- To cook the pasta, fill a stockpot 3/4 full with water and bring to a boil. Add a generous amount of salt and add pasta. Cook pasta to al dente stage (about 4 minutes) and drain. Retain pasta water for thinning sauce as necessary.
- Heat wide skillet over medium-high heat. Add 1 tablespoon olive oil and heat. Add sausage and cook completely (about 5-7 minutes). Remove sausage with a slotted spoon and drain on a paper towel.
- Add another tablespoon of olive oil and the onion. Cook onion until softened (about 3-4 minutes) and then add garlic. Cook for another minute.
- Add bay leaf, sage, and white wine. Scrape the bottom of the pan gently to release any caramelized bits that remain. Reduce the wine to half (about 2-3 minutes).
- Add chicken stock and pumpkin puree to the skillet and stir to fully incorporate. Cook until sauce begins to bubble (about 2-3 minutes). Reduce heat to medium and add sausage and cream to the skillet. Grate nutmeg in and add salt and pepper to taste. Bring mixture to a simmer and cook until thickens, stirring occasionally (about 10 minutes).
- While sauce is simmering, make the pasta. When both are done remove the bay leaf from the sauce and stir in the cooked pasta. Add small amounts of pasta water as necessary to obtain a creamy sauce consistency while cooking for another minute or two.
- Serve immediately garnished with fresh sage leaves and a generous amount of grated Parmigiano.