Wednesday, September 18, 2013

My Not So Secret Obsession: Amazingly Creamy Pumpkin Penne

Fall is my favorite time of year.  Growing up it meant crisp weather, cozy sweaters, and changing leaves.

Here in California, the weather doesn't change all that much, but fall still brings with it many of my favorite things.  Apple picking, Halloween, and fall foods - like chili and pumpkin!

I love pumpkin.  I love pumpkin flavors, I love pumpkin in things, and I love all the pumpkin products on the market.  Just this week I picked up pumpkin pop-tarts at Trader Joes and pumpkin cheesecake cookies.  I haven't broken open the pumpkin spice tea Thatmom brought me home from a recent trip, but we're getting close.  And I've already started with the pumpkin cooking.

One of the reasons I was instantly drawn to Cara as a kindred spirit was our shared love of pumpkin.  This was way back before she was a famous writer, blogger, and mother.  And this recipe dates back to that time.  When the two of us tried to force the "pumpkin, it's not just for fall" movement.  It's been in my repertoire since that time and manages to make a yearly appearance.  Much like The Great Pumpkin, without waiting until Halloween.  I don't think I could wait that long for pumpkin!

Amazingly Creamy Pumpkin Penne (From Cara's Cravings)
4 oz 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

  1. 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. 
  2. Add garlic, sage, and chicken sausage; continue to saute.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.
  4. In a blender, combine combine pumpkin, cottage cheese, and milk. Blend until no lumps are present. 
  5. Add to sausage mixture in skillet and continue to cook over low heat. 
  6. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
  7. 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. 


  1. I like the fact that you use low fat cottage and nonfat milk! I love pumpkin too and pairs perfectly with pasta!

  2. This is problem why you, me and Cara get along so well! Pumpkin FTW. All day. Every day.

  3. We are in the pumpkin mood already too! We went on a pumpkin shopping spree and bought 12 actual pumpkins to decorate. People were looking at us like we had gone mad. Its still in the 90s here in Miami

  4. Fall is my favorite season, and like you, I love pumpkin. This looks just delicious. A cold front blew in tonight, and I would love to make this tomorrow night for dinner!