Amazingly Creamy Pumpkin Pennefrom Cara's Cravings, serves 2 as written (we doubled it for leftovers)
4 oz penne pasta (we used Healthy Harvest whole wheat)2 tsp olive oil
1 small onion, thinly sliced2 cloves of garlic, minced
about 2T chopped fresh sage (we omitted)2 links cooked chicken sausage, sliced (we used a spinach asiago chicken sausage from Sam's club, but any will do)
1/2 c. low fat cottage cheese1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. nonfat milkpinch of nutmeg
5oz torn spinach, thick stems removedgrated parmesan or pecorino romano cheese, optional
(Josh also added some sliced Portobello mushrooms we had in the fridge, optional of course)
1. Heat olive oil in a skillet over medium-low heat. Add onions and cook gently for about 10-15 minutes, until softened and beginning to caramelize. Add garlic, sage, and chicken sausage; continue to saute.
3. 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 until heated through. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground pepper, and a pinch of nutmeg.
Lately, I haven't been serving a lot of pasta in the house. Josh will make himself some for lunch once in a while, and it is just something I have been cutting out of my diet. However, I knew I had to make an exception for pasta with a pumpkin sauce! Let me tell you - this sauce is delicious. It is wonderfully creamy, but there is NO cream! For those out there who don't like cottage cheese, trust me on this one - you can't taste it. It create a creamy, not lumpy, texture when blended. I might try using this trick with some other pasta-cream sauces I've been wanting to "lighten up."