I keep thinking that this picture looks a little orange and then remembering that it IS orange. I believe that this was my first savory dish using pumpkin, and I am a fan. The richness of the blended cottage cheese makes this sauce seem a lot more indulgent than it actually is. I switched out the chicken sausage for some mild Italian sausage links that I needed to use, so it isn't quite as healthy as the original. If you do this, cook the sausage through before adding the garlic and onions. The spinach is a great addition for color and heft. Plus, this meal came together quickly. It was like eating a gourmet meal at home!
Creamy Pumpkin Penne
source: Cara's Cravings
4 oz whole wheat penne pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves of garlic, minced
about 2T chopped fresh sage
2 links cooked chicken sausage, sliced
1/2 cup low fat cottage cheese (1% milk fat)
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/2 cup nonfat milk
pinch of nutmeg
5oz torn spinach, thick stems removed
grated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, optional
Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook gently for about 10-15minutes, until softened and beginning to caramelize. Add garlic, sage, and chicken sausage; continue to saute.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
In a blender, combine combine pumpkin, cottage cheese, and milk. Blend until no lumps are present. Add to sausage mixture in skillet and continue to cook over low heat. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Drain pasta and return to pot over low heat. Add sausage mixture and baby spinach, and toss together. Cover for a few minutes to let the spinach wilt. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.