Thanksgiving is behind us and fall is coming to a close. Somehow the combination of pumpkin and sage definitely says "fall" to my palette. In honor of the changing of the seasons that's right around the corner, here's one more fall-inspired dish for 2015 that will help you stay cozy during this cold and rainy week.
In a large skillet, brown the sausage. Drain on a towel-lined plate, and remove the pork fat from the pan. Add in the olive oil and cook the onions and garlic over medium heat until very fragrant but not yet browned. Add the sage and stir for a moment until very fragrant, then add the pumpkin and broth. Season with the nutmeg, cayenne if using, salt and pepper. Add back in the sausage and bring to a low simmer. Remove from the heat and gently stir in the heavy cream. Toss with fresh pasta and serve with grated cheese.
A note about roasting winter squash:
My favorite method for cooking winter squash is simple. Place the vegetable whole, without piercing the skin, on a baking sheet and bake at 400 until soft. This can take as little as 45 minutes if your vegetable is very small, or upwards of an hour and a half for larger produce. The meat of the vegetable will get wonderfully soft and the resulting steam will loosen the skin of the squash so you can peel it off with your hands very easily. It's the perfect solution for easy soups, pies, and any recipe that calls for canned pumpkin where you'd like to use fresh. Simply mash the meat with a fork and there you go!