When I was grocery shopping the other day, I found myself on the pasta aisle and picked up a box of Farfalle pasta as well as a jar of Cucina Antica Tuscany Pumpkin Pasta Sauce. I’d never made pasta with a pumpkin sauce before, but I honestly feel I had no choice as the grocery store is now full of pumpkins, gourds and Halloween candy all telling me it really is Fall in spite of my shorts, flip flops and the fact that we were just swimming the day before.
It stayed in my pantry for a few days while I imagined how exactly I would use it when I remembered we had some Italian sausage in the freezer. The combination of sausage and pumpkin sounded very appealing and I was genuinely proud of myself for such an inspired idea…The funny part is, after I wrote this recipe, I logged onto Pinterest just to check out how others use pumpkin sauce, and there are many, many, many recipes very similar to mine. Ooops! Guess I’m not as creative as I thought.
I also checked out Cucina Antica, and learned the owner, Chef Neil Fusco, was born in San Marzano, Italy–home of the famous plum tomato. He grew up on a farm and spent his childhood helping in their kitchen making sauces and every other delightful flavor one would find in an Italian farmhouse. His commitment to creating products with no gluten, no preservatives, no added sugars and always with real San Marzano tomatoes was interesting to read about, however the coolest part is he actually considers the sauces cooking sauces as opposed to pasta sauces as a result of their artisan production. This allows the home chef to re-cook the sauce over their favorite protein without losing any flavor. All home-chefs can appreciate that, and the term cooking sauce opens a world of possibilities to his products…try my Sausage Risotto with Sage and Fontina!
1 package bow tie pasta
1 jar Cucina Antica Tuscany Pumpkin Pasta Sauce – you will use about half the jar
1 small onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups butternut squash, cubed
1 cup eggplant, cubed
1/2-1 cup of homemade chicken stock or pasta water
1 pound Italian sausage
1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for the table
salt and pepper
1.) Cook one package of bow-tie pasta according to package directions. Retain approximately a cup of pasta water, if using
2.) Heat a drizzle of olive oil in a large soup pot on medium-high heat, and add onions and garlic. Sweat onions until translucent.
3.) Add butternut squash and eggplant and sauté until slightly soft.
4.) Add sausage and cook until sausage is cooked through and vegetables are soft. Drain grease from pan.
5.) Add 1-2 cups of Cucina Antica Tuscany Pumpkin Sauce and a splash of stock or pasta water. **Add another half a cup of sauce if your crew REALLY likes pumpkin. 🙂
6.) Using a mesh strainer like this one from Sur la Table, add pasta directly to the sauce. Don’t worry if it brings some water over with it.
7.) Add 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese and stir everything together until well combined.