When I made my menu plan this month, I had no idea that finding canned pumpkin was going to be such a challenge. I drove to three different grocery stores in search of canned pumpkin and finally cornered a store manager to find out why I was unable to find any. Apparently, I was unaware that there was a canned pumpkin shortage and that most stores are out of this delicious treat until the end of the month or later. .. at least in Indiana!
The kids moped back to the car after being told that pumpkin pancakes and pasta would not be making an appearance at the dinner table. I posted on Facebook my dilemma and wondered what I would even have to write about with no pumpkin to make my recipes.
As we all wondered how our lives would go on without my favorite convenience food, I came home to a grocery bag on my doorstep with four large cans of pumpkin inside. A girlfriend saw a few cans left at her grocery store and dropped them off for me to make my recipes.
That night we dined on pumpkin pasta and dreamed of what we could do with the rest of our pumpkin. The dinner tasted so much more delicious with our extremely rare ingredient. Everything always tastes better when you know that you are using a sacred ingredient, doesn’t it?
I could make my own pumpkin puree, but I admit that I really love the convenience of canned pumpkin in my pantry. If the shortage continues though, I will be making the real deal one of these days. I figure if the worst convenience food on my pantry shelf is canned pumpkin, then I can just pat myself on the back and know that I am doing a good job in the kitchen.
This creamy pumpkin pasta is one of my favorite fall dishes and my entire family loves it. The kids think it looks like macaroni and cheese so it doesn’t take much coaxing to get them to try a bite. My husband loves the turkey sausage and the meaty flavor of this dish. Me? I just love the creamy pumpkin taste in my mouth!
If you are worried about how your family will react to pumpkin pasta, scale the pumpkin back. You can do between 2/3-2 cups of pasta, depending on your personal taste. Start with a little and ease your family into the two cup ratio.
Want to wow your company? Serve this with a loaf of fancy artisan bread and end the meal with a delicious apple crisp. It will be like you are literally eating the season of fall right off of your plate.
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
1 pound package of Sweet Italian Turkey Sausage (removed from its casing)
2/3 cup to 2 cups pumpkin puree (depending on your personal taste)
1 can chicken broth
¼ cup half & half
½ cup sour cream (low-fat or fat free)
¼ tsp nutmeg
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp white pepper
1 tsp sage
2 tbsp fresh parsley, minced
¼ cup Romano Cheese, shredded
1 pound penne or rotini pasta
In a large skillet sauté the garlic in the olive oil on medium heat. Add the turkey sausage and cook until no longer pink, breaking the meat up with your spoon as you cook it. Remove turkey sausage and garlic from the skillet. Pour the chicken broth into the skillet and deglaze the pan using a wire whisk, to bring up all of the flavors stuck to the pan. Whisk in the half and half, sour cream, pumpkin, and seasonings. Simmer for ten minutes. Meanwhile, boil the pasta in salted water until al dente. Drain pasta and stir into the pumpkin mixture along with the turkey sausage, simmering for another three minutes or until the sauce thickens and hugs the pasta. Stir in parsley and garnish with Romano and more parsley.
Side Note- If the sauce is too thick, thin it with a little addition of chicken broth until you get it to the right consistency.
Am I the only one feeling the canned pumpkin pinch? Is there a shortage in your area?