Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Sage Sausage
- 1 lb Ziti or rigatoni noodles, cooked al dente
- 1 lb Sage sausage (Italian sausage works too!)
- 1/4 c Olive oil for sauteing sausage and veggies (1-3 times around the pan for both)
Ingredients for Pumpkin Sauce:
- 15 oz Can pumpkin puree
- 4 sage leaves, chopped (I had already chopped sage leaves, so I used 2 ½ tsp. in mine)
- 2 Garlic cloves, finely diced
- 1 Bay leaf
- 1/2 Onion, diced small
- 1 c Chicken stock
- 1/2 c Dry white wine (like a sauvignon blanc, chardonnay, or dry Riesling)
- 1/4 c Grated VioLife's Just Like Parmesan cheese
- 1 tsp. Salt
- 1 tsp. Pepper
- 1/2 tsp. Ground nutmeg
- 1/4 tsp. Red pepper flakes (can use chili powder as a substitute)
- 1 pinch Cinnamon
- Preheat oven to 350° F.
- Chop sausage into ½ inch to 1-inch rounds and cook in a cast iron skillet (preferably, if not, a medium saute pan will do) over medium heat with olive oil, flipping after 3-5 minutes on each side. When sausage is no longer pink on the inside, transfer to a bowl and save for later.
- In the same skillet, add olive oil, bay leaf, garlic, and onions. Saute for 3 to 5 minutes until the onions begin to look translucent.
- Add the sage leaves, red pepper flakes (or chili powder), cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt & pepper to taste. Cook for two more minutes.
- Put a large pot of water on to boil. When the water boils, add salt and pasta, and cook for 9-12 minutes, leaving pasta al dente. Once timer goes off, drain pasta and toss with olive oil or butter and set aside.
- While the pasta cooks, add the wine to the olive oil & garlic mixture, and cook until reduced by half. You will have to turn the pan to medium high for this step. After reducing, add the stock (veggie or chicken) and stir in the pumpkin puree. Mix until all is combined. The pumpkin will thicken the sauce.
- Stir the sausage into the sauce and transfer to a large bowl with the pasta. Mix until combined.
- Transfer back into your cast iron skillet (or an oven safe baking dish), and top with Parmesan cheese.
- Bake for 25-35 minutes or until bubbly.
- If cheese is not ooey gooey in the time allotted above, turn your oven to Broil (500°F) and bake an additional 3-5 mins until cheese is brown and bubbly. I used non-dairy parm, so I needed the extra time for mine. I used non-dairy parm, so I needed the extra time for mine.