Pumpkin Turkey Pasta

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

My BFF pal Jesse loves Rachael Ray. Me...well, I am easing into it.

Rachael and I have had some glitches in the past. But we're working through it.

The glitches mostly occurred because a) I'm a dummy and b) I was under the impression that RR's "thing" was being all about easygoing/eyeballing stuff. So, I took her at her word {or really, the word on the street} and things did not work out [ie, I made substitutions I shouldn't have made].

Water under the bridge!
We're here now with this wonderful pasta, thanks to Rachael!

Jesse gave me the recipe a couple of years ago, and being a card-carrying pumpkin lover, I rushed to try it. pasta + pumpkin + sausage has to = goodness

Plus, most of these ingredients I already keep in my kitchen (added bonus).

This time around, I made some [healthier, hopefully] tweaks and got it more to my taste. You'll seeeeeeee.

This one's a pretty straightforward one-pot dish (with nutmeg in it! nutmeg can rarely be wrong, right?).

Substitution numero uno: switched to ground turkey.

Brown your turkey and set aside...

Then saute some onions and garlic in the pot you just used (after draining the fat and oil stuff out):

It was about this time I put water on to boil for the pasta. Instead of turning the correct burner on, I turned on the burner under my spoon rest/plate thing. Whoops. Luckily I heard it crackle under the heat before it broke.

whomp whomp

(cooling off since I just tried to kill her)

Okay, so by this time, you've added sage, white wine, and a bay leaf to the onions/garlic. Then it's time for the piece de resistance:


After letting it cook and adding fat-free half and half (another substitution...heavy cream police, look away please!), and yes, I recognize this isn't pretty:

Then, my 2nd stupid mistake: misreading "1 pound" as "1 cup," subsequently cooking a very measly 1 cup of pasta.

I thought it looked puny for that big ole pot of sauce. Whoops #2.

Luckily I had the whole rest of the box at my disposal and all was well.

Combine, and voila!

Who knew, right?

Pumpkin Turkey Sausage

adapted from this one


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil (EVOO) (eyeballed this for sure)
1 pound ground turkey
4 cloves garlic (I use minced...sue me!)
1 medium onion, finely chopped
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried (dried, are you kidding me?)
2 T sage
1 cup dry white wine
1 cup chicken stock
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup fat free half-and-half
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
salt and black pepper
1 pound whole-wheat rotini, cooked al dente


Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Brown the turkey in 1 T (eyeballed) of EVOO. Transfer turkey to a paper towel-lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon EVOO, followed by the garlic and onion. Sauté 3-5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Add bay leaf, sage and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until comes to a bubble. Return turkey to pan; reduce heat and stir in half-and-half. Season the sauce with the cinnamon, nutmeg, salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5-10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and combine the turkey pumpkin sauce with the pasta. Toss over low heat for 1 minute. Serve with Parmesan on top.


Give it a try if you love pumpkin and pasta and turkey meat! [Lemme know how it goes, if you do!]

Over and out.


  1. YAY for Pumpkin Week!!! Can't wait to try it...after the anatomy test.

  2. Thanks for the shout-out. I stand by the sausage as a necessity for the dish (chicken or turkey sausage are healthier options), but to each his own. ;)


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