Italian Recipes

Creamy pumpkin, sausage and sage pasta

November 15, 2021

Fall is here and brings a fantastic variety of new fruits and vegetables for us to enjoy. I now buy apples, pears, vegetables and pumpkin every time I shop and enjoy creating new autumn recipes with these ingredients. I love summer, but nothing inspires a chef more than having a completely unique selection of products to play with! In Umbria we don’t have the large selection of winter squash that I’m used to in North America, but once the cool weather is here you can find zucca (pumpkin) in any grocery store or outdoor market. Since there is no canned pumpkin in Italy, I often buy it fresh and roast it, puree it and then use it for my dessert recipes. When I want to incorporate pumpkin into savory recipes, I often roast it until it’s tender and then fold it into risotto or pasta dishes. In this recipe, I used my favorite pan to cook the sauce from start to finish in the time it took to bring the pasta water to a boil and then cook the pasta.

This pasta combines pumpkin that I cooked and sautéed sausage, onions and garlic in a pan. The combination is flavored with fresh sage, then I add cream to create a creamy sauce that melts all the ingredients into a very flavorful sauce. You can use butternut squash or squash in this recipe, and the sauce works on almost any type of pasta, although I went with ziti. I’ll be honest, I made this pasta when my husband was gone, although I planned to eat very lightly while he was away to shed a few pounds. I had the excellent intention of simply tasting this pasta after it was made and then throwing the rest away. However, this pasta was so delicious that it was my dinner for three days in a row. NOT a great diet meal, but really tasty!

Bon Appetit!
Deborah Mele REVISED 2021


  • 1 pound pasta of your choice

  • 2 tablespoons of olive oil

  • 1 pound fresh pumpkin, cut into 3/4-inch cubes

  • 3/4 pound Italian sausage, taken out of the case

  • 1 medium onion, peeled and chopped

  • 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and chopped

  • 4 sage leaves, finely chopped

  • 1 cup heavy cream

  • 1/3 cup of grated parmesan cheese

  • Salt & pepper to taste

To serve:

  • grated parmesan

  • Broken black pepper


  1. Place the pasta in a large saucepan with boiling salted water over high heat and cook until al dente, stirring occasionally.
  2. Drain, collecting about 1/4 cup of the pasta water.
  3. While the pasta is cooking, heat the oil in a large pan over high heat, then add the pumpkin and sausages.
  4. Cook for 8 minutes, cutting the sausage into bite-sized pieces, or until the sausage and pumpkin begin to brown.
  5. Add the onion, garlic, and sage and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion becomes soft, about 5 minutes.
  6. Stir in the cream and grated cheese, simmer for about 3 minutes until thick, then remove from the heat.
  7. Season with salt and pepper, then add to the pasta along with enough pasta water to loosen it up as needed.
  8. Cook briefly over high heat, stirring constantly, until boiling hot.
  9. Serve in individual pasta bowls with parmesan shavings and broken black pepper.

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