Pumpkin Penne with Sausage and Spinach

A tasty Fall pasta dish featuring sausage and spinach.  Sage and/or Rosemary add perfect autumn flavors.

  • Author: Laura
  • Prep Time: 5 mins
  • Cook Time: 30 mins
  • Total Time: 35 minutes
  • Yield: 8 Servings 1x
  • Category: Pasta
  • Method: Stovetop


  • 16 oz. Penne Pasta
  • 1 lb bulk mild (sweet) Italian Sausage
  • 2 T Olive oil
  • Small sprig fresh Rosemary
  • 46 Sage leaves
  • 22 oz. (3 cups) Pumpkin Puree
  • 3/4 c Half-and-half (or whole milk)
  • 1 clove Garlic, minced
  • 1/4 t grated Nutmeg
  • 5 oz. Fresh spinach leaves
  • 1/2 c Freshly grated Parmeggiano-Reggiano cheese
  • 1 T Cider Vinegar
  • 2 c reserved Pasta water
  • Red Pepper flakes – optional


Make the pasta

  1. Prepare pasta al dente according to package directions.  Just before pasta is done, reserve 2 cups of the salted pasta water.

Make the sauce

  1. In a large saute pan, heat the olive oil.  When oil is hot, saute the rosemary sprig and sage leaves until crispy.  Remove from oil to a paper towel.  Reserve.
  2. Add the sausage to the hot oil.  Cook until done.  Drain any excess fat.
  3. To the sausage, add the pumpkin purée, half-and-half, garlic, nutmeg, spinach, Parmesan, Cider Vinegar.  Stir until bubbly, adding reserved pasta water as  necessary. (I ended up adding 1 1/2 cups of the reserved water.)
  4. Simmer the sauce an additional 2-3 minutes until heated through.  Add cooked pasta.  Add additional reserved water as needed.  Important: Test to see if you need more salt, you may need to salt generously.  Transfer to serving dish. Top with reserved herbs, chopped if desired.
  5. Add red pepper flakes and additional Parmeggiano-Reggiano at table, as desired.


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