Creamy Pumpkin Penne

As promised, I’m going to try to bring more healthy recipes to the table this year.  I saw this recipe for creamy pumpkin penne on the blog Cara’s Cravings, and it sparked my curiosity.  For one thing, pumpkin in pasta?  I have a bunch of cans of pumpkin I bought after the holidays, so I wanted to use some of it!  Also, instead of using heavy cream, she uses cottage cheese that she puree’s.  Interesting.  I decided to give it a go and was very impressed.  I couldn’t find chicken sausage in my town, so I used turkey sausage and it was very good.  It had a nice “winter” taste to the dish, even my daughter (who is the pickiest eater – EVER) ate it.  My husband loved the turkey sausage, he said that you really couldn’t even tell the difference between it and pork Italian sausage, other than it was less oily.  I think I’ll look for chicken sausage though so I can try it with that!  Here’s my adaptation of her recipe…

Creamy Pumpkin Penne

Ingredients:

1 box Ronzoni Smart Taste penne pasta
2 tsp olive oil
1 onion, sliced
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tsp sage
1 pkg sweet Italian turkey sausage
1 cup fat free cottage cheese
1 cup pure pumpkin puree
1 cup milk
pinch nutmeg
5 oz. spinach
seasonings to taste (cayenne, salt, Tony’s, onion & garlic powder)
parmesan cheese for topping

Method:

Cook the penne and set aside.  While it’s cooking, heat olive oil in a deep nonstick pot.  Add onion and cook till soft, then add sausage, sage and garlic.  Once the sausage has cooked a little while and is a little more firm, remove and cut into slices, then return to the pot and cook till no longer pink.  While the sausage is cooking, put the cottage cheese, pumpkin and milk into a blender and puree until no lumps are left.  Add this sauce to the pot with sausage, mix well and season to taste.  Add pasta and spinach.  Mix well and cover to let the spinach wilt.  As soon as it’s wilted, serve, topped with parmesan cheese.

Creamy Pumpkin Penne

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