Did you know that canned pumpkin doesn't exist in Europe? Or at least, if it does, is not something you can find at any old grocery store. So whenever you want to make something with pumpkin you have to buy an actual pumpkin, take your chainsaw out to cut it, roast it, puree it and all that. Not that it's impossible to do, but it requires a certain level of commitment and makes pumpkin one of those ingredients you can't use on the spur of the moment. You have to plan ahead and have time for it.
Imagine my joy when I found out that in the U.S. you can buy canned pumpkin and that it tastes great. It was one of those discoveries that made me giddy with excitement, kind of like when I saw a slow cooker for the first time. But that's another story. The canned pumpkin makes impossible to make recipes very possible. Even on a week day, even if you are tired. This pasta i a perfect example -using the canned stuff cuts the preparation time down to nothing and the result is finger licking good.
PASTA WITH PUMPKIN AND SAUSAGE
3/4 pound short pasta such as rotini or penne
2 links fresh hot Italian sausage
1 onion, minced
1 sprig rosemary, minced
A pinch of sage
1/2 can of pumpkin
Good quality vegetable or chicken stock
Salt and pepper to taste
Grated Parmesan cheese
Cook pasta in abundant salted water.
In the mean time crumble sausage in a large skillet and brown in its own juices with the minced onion and rosemary. When the sausage is brown add pumpkin and dilute with stock until it reaches a creamy consistency. Season with salt, pepper and sage. Cook for a couple of minutes, until warm. When sauce starts to boil stir in 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese and remove from heat.
When pasta is ready and drained add it to the skillet, return it on the stove and cook for a bout a minute, stirring constantly until pasta and sauce are well mixed. Serve with extra cheese on the side.