For a farewell dinner, of sorts, I made one of his favorite fall meals--Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage. This is a hearty and delicious meal--and a little goes a long way.
I followed the pasta with a riff on this salad by New York chef, Andrew Carmellini. A lovely mixture of baby arugula, Granny Smith apples, raisins, fennel and celery; this citrusy salad proved to be a nice counterpoint to the richness of the pasta.
You certainly don't need a farewell to serve this dinner. Give it a try!
The pasta recipe is my rendition of one by Rachel Ray. Oh please, don't judge me!
Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage
2 tablespoons, extra-virgin olive oil, divided
1 pound Italian sausage, removed from casings and crumbled
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 medium onion, chopped
1 bay leaf
4 to 6 sage leaves cut into chiffonade
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup low sodium chicken broth
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/8-1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
Salt and pepper
1 pound penne rigate, cooked al dente
Parmigiano cheese for grating
Heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add sausage and saute until brown. Remove and drain sausage on paper towels. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to stove. Add remaining oil then the onion and garlic, and saute 3 to 5 minutes until onions are tender.
Add bay leaf, sage and wine to pan. Raise heat and reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add chicken broth and pumpkin and stir to combine. Stir sauce until it comes to a boil. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season sauce with cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper. Simmer mixture 5-10 minutes until sauce thickens.
Remove bay leaf from sauce and add drained pasta; toss over low heat until pasta is coated. Top pasta with grated Parmigiano cheese and garnish with sage leaves.