Happy October! WAIT, what it’s October?!
October can only mean one thing, I get to watch season two of STRANGER THINGS!!! Anyone else freaking out about this?!?!
Oh wait….I meant to say that October means it’s pumpkin season…prioities.
To be clear I did not make pasta out of pumpkin, the pumpkin is all in the sauce. If you have never made a pumpkin recipe on the savory spectrum be prepared to be rocked! It’s so delicious, comforting and fall like without having to be sweet.
Can we just discuss the pumpkin spice craze for a second?!
Pumpkin spice is everywhere this time of year. Did you know they are making a pumpkin spice pizza?!?! IMO I think that’s taking things a bit too far. Don’t get me wrong, I love pumpkin spice and I love pizza. I’m even up for trying unexpected combos, but pizza and pumpkin spice shouldn’t go together. I mean maybe if the sauce of the pizza was a savory pumpkin sauce – but I’m pretty sure when they say pumpkin spice it’s going to be on the sweeter side of things.
Okay but serisouly this pumpkin pasta with sausage and crispy fried sage that you see here does use REAL pumpkin! Yaaay for real rood and not flavored syrups!
Okay pumpkin spice rant is over. Thank you for listening.
Have you ever had crispy fried sage before? If not, it’s about to change your life. I mean they are sage leaves fried in butter until crispy and sprinkled with salt, what could be bad about that?
They melt in your mouth and everything in your kitchen smells like fall. Plus you have the added bonus of browned sage butter left behind. We make good use of it and add it to our pumpkin sauce – trust me, that stuff is like gold!
The result of this savory pumpkin pasta sauce is a comforting, warming creamy sauce with sauteed onions, carrots, and garlic. It tastes of pumpkin with hints of cinnamon and nutmeg for warmth and that cozy fall feel. The thick sauce clings nicely to the penne pasta and the sweet sausage.
I chose a sweet apple chicken sausage with maple, those flavors play nicely with the pumpkin and adds a bit of sweetness without any sweetener to the sauce. Of course, use any sweet sausage you can get your hands on, apple, or not. Don’t forget that crispy fried sage on top, it’s so weirdly delicious and so worth the effort.
About the pasta I used here, you know how I feel about Banza chickpea pasta. It’s made from chickpeas allowing it to have less carbs, more protein than your typical wheat pasta, and it’s naturally gluten free. I honestly feel so much more balanced and satisfied when I eat this pasta that I have found myself wanting to make more pasta dishes for the blog, which I was previously avoiding because pasta didn’t make me feel awesome. YAY for chickpea pasta and more pasta recipes – you rock!
You guys, if there ever was dish that would fulfill your fall cravings on a cool day and make you feel all cozy inside – besides soup – this pumpkin pasta is the answer. It is the only answer.
Okay maybe that’s a tiny bit dramatic, but I just know you will fall in love (<- ha get it, fall – cause it’s autumn?!) with this dish. You’re only 35 minutes away from the ultimate fall pumpkin comfort food. No we are not talking about pumpkin spice pizza – there is just something wrong with that!
This gluten free pumpkin pasta topped with crispy fried sage leaves though….there are so many things perfectly right about it…..
- Crispy Sage Leaves:
- 2 to 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 10 to 15 sage leaves
- sea salt
- Sausage and pumpkin sauce:
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 pound gluten free sweet sausage, sliced if in links (chicken or pork)*
- ½ white onion, diced
- 2 carrots, diced
- 3 cloves garlic, minced
- 1 15 ounce can pumpkin puree (NOT PUMPKIN PIE FILLING)
- 2 cups low sodium chicken broth (or more as needed)
- 1 tablespoon sage leaves, minced
- ½ teaspoon cinnamon
- ½ teaspoon nutmeg
- (optional): Pinch of cayenne pepper
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces gluten free penne or rotini (or whatever shape of pasta you prefer)**
- Make the crispy sage leaves: Heat a small skillet over medium heat. Melt the butter and add the sage leaves. Cook the sage leaves about 2 minutes on each side - use tongs to carefully flip the leaves over. Allow the butter to foam and bubble up. Once the sage leaves have turned a mute green and the edges have started to curl in on themselves carefully remove them as they are very delicate and drain them on a plate lined with paper towels (DO NOT DRAIN THE BUTTER). It's okay if the butter browns a little, that's what we want. Sprinkle the sage leaves with a pinch of sea salt. Set the sage leaves aside and save the butter for later,
- Brown off the sausage: You can get the sausage going while the sage leaf pan is heating up. Heat a medium sized skillet over medium heat, heat the oil. Brown the sausage on both sides until it's slightly crispy and warmed through. If using crumbled sausage break up and cook until no more pink remains. Remove the sausage from the pan and set aside. If you are using a fatty pork sausage you can remove some of the grease, leaving about 2 tablespoons behind. I didn't have to with my chicken sausage.
- Cook the Pasta: At this time begin heating up your water for your pasta. Cook 2 to 3 minutes less than what the package instructions say. You want your pasta to still have a bite to it so that it stays together when tossed with the sauce at the end. Once the pasta is cooked drain it, (rinse if instructed on the package) and set aside.
- Cook the veggies: In the same pan that the sausage was cooked in add the onion and carrots. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes or until the veggies are tender. Add the garlic and saute for 1 minute.
- Make the Pumpkin Sauce: Stir in the can of pumpkin, chicken broth, cinnamon, nutmeg, cayenne pepper fresh chopped sage, and salt and pepper, and the reserved browned sage butter (<- so yum, seriously don't skip). Allow the sauce to come to a boil, reduce to a simmer. Allow it to simmer for 5 to 8 minutes or until the sauce has reduced slightly and thickened. If the pasta gets too thick you can add a little more chicken broth to thin it out.
- Stir in the pasta and sausage: Gently stir the pasta and sausage into the sauce. Allow it to heat the pasta and sausage back up, about 1 to 2 minutes.
- Serve: Transfer the pasta to serving bowls and garnish with the crispy fried sage. Serve immediately. Store leftovers in an air tight container for up to 4 days. The crispy sage is best eaten immediately, it looses it's crispiness when its leftover.
**I really like chickpea pasta by Banza. It's gluten free, has less carbs and is higher in protein than most pasta. Feel free to use whatever kind of pasta you have on hand. I have found the best price for the Banza pasta to be at my Super Target