Monday, November 16, 2009

Creamy Pumpkin Penne

One more fabulous pumpkin recipe from Cara. And its another winner!
Oh - and a big THANK YOU to my amazing husband for cooking this one up! I have been working out after work lately, and sometimes I get home kinda late. It was so nice to have dinner ready for me! Love ya babe! (That also goes to show just how easy this recipe is to put together, no offense honey.)

Amazingly Creamy Pumpkin Penne
from 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 sliced
2 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 cheese
1/2 c. pumpkin puree
1/2 c. nonfat milk
pinch of nutmeg
5oz torn spinach, thick stems removed
grated 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.

2. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions.

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.

4. 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. Serve with parmesan cheese, if desired.
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."


  1. We recently made this recipe as well. It went over really well for us too!

  2. So glad you liked it and happy to hear you'll be experimenting more with cottage cheese! I have used it successfully to make creamy soups too. Oh and by the way, I usually buy that same sausage! They recently started carrying a mexican poblano chicken sausage that's low in calories too, and pretty tasty!