I admit it
— I’ve been a slacker on making dinner lately!!

For a girl that’s packed in more meal-making in the past four months than I have the rest of my entire life, I needed a little break. FINALLY — it’s fall. It’s truly, purely, really fall. I know because I stood outside freezing in the wind waiting for the bus last night. It was bittersweet. Bitter without a coat, sweet because I remembered what it felt like to crave soup!

You know what fall means — everyone’s favorite flava-flav: pumpkin! Well, it’s mine. I love it more than most people. I dream about pumpkin pancakes and pumpkin-butternut soup and pumpkin scones with pumpkin icing and…Edy’s seasonal pumpkin ice cream!

So this dinner was an obvious selection to kick off fall:

Pumpkin Portobello Sweet Sausage Pasta


  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
  • 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
  • 4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
  • 1 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
  • 4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
  • Coarse salt and black pepper
  • 1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
  • Romano or Parmigiano, for grating
  • Pumpernickel or whole grain bread, as an accompaniment


— Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

— Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

— Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese.

*NOTE: I made roasted broccoli for the side dish. It was sooo good. I’m including the photo below because I think it turned out nicely. This is just broccoli steamed for three minutes, coated with EVOO and sea salt, then baked on broil for like…7 minutes (make sure you check because it gets burnt fast). Mine is burnt on purpose cause that’s just how I like it!

FREE: Simple Faith Practices for Busy MomsYes, please!