Pumpkin, Kale & Sausage Pasta

Last night, at our Yoga & Wine event at Yogaworks Walnut Creek, I wanted to share some food to bring us together socially after class. Because it’s mid-fall and pumpkin is ALL AROUND us (Trader Joe’s), I went for savory pumpkin. I also brought along a few bottles of wine because we all love a party, right?

I also made Pumpkin Hummus, which was jammin’ along with some cut carrots.

After searching the inter-webs and Pinterest, I decided that a combo of kale, pumpkin and sausage was perfect because (a) it sounded delicious and (b) I had each readily available in my fridge!

Now anyone who knows my cooking style knows that my approach to following recipes is pretty liberal. By that I mean that I hardly ever measure ingredients – I just wing it with a shake of this and a pinch of that. My poor husband, who is a Scientist and accustomed to following recipes for biotechnology drugs with EXTREME PRECISION, gets very uncomfortable with my approach. The truth is…it’s not perfectly repeatable and it’s in no way scalable but it’s all I know!

So here it is…adapted from Fine Cooking.

  • Sea salt
  • 1 package Aidell’s mini chicken-apple sausages, cut into small pieces
  • Olive oil
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cups 3/4-inch-diced peeled, seeded pumpkin (or just buy the prepared bag at Trader Joe’s, like me!)
  • 3 shakes champagne vinegar (or dry white wine if you aren’t alone in your house with your kids and you’re trying to stay on the wagon thus refusing to open a whole bottle that will sit in the fridge staring at you every time you open it)
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1-1/2 cups chicken stock
  • 10 oz. kale: trimmed, ribs removed, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
  • Bowtie pasta (I used most of one box)
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.

In a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium heat, heat the sausage. Push the sausage towards the edge of the skillet and add the olive oil. Add the onion and cook until golden and the sausage is well browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin, vinegar, and garlic and cook 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the stock and cook until the pumpkin is almost tender, about 12 minutes (it took me a while to get the pumpkin tender because the TJ’s chunks are kind of large). Add the kale and the remaining 3/4 cup stock, cover, and cook until the pumpkin and kale are tender, about 4 minutes.

Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain well. Add the pasta to the skillet with enough of the pasta water to coat the pasta and vegetables generously. Stir in the Parmigiano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with additional Parmigiano.

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