As pumpkin season endures, we continue to look for creative ways to work this healthy and versatile ingredient into our recipes. This a great way to showcase the flavor of our new favorite squash in a low carb, (relatively) low fat dish with a rich, Fall flavor profile. It’s perfect for a quick weekday treat and can be multiplied for entertaining.The main ingredient is, of course, pumpkin. We’re using canned pumpkin. We haven’t gotten around to fresh pumpkin yet this year, but we promise to soon. Maybe after Halloween, when the price plummets. Anyway, be sure that you get 100% pumpkin. If you end up with pie filling or spiced pumpkin, you will be very surprised by the result.
To the recipe … We’re heating the water/bouillon mixture to make it easier to mix together. It is always a good idea to heat your broth or stock before adding it to a recipe. It cuts down on time. Better than Bouillon is a brand name concentrated base. It comes in sort of a paste form. We like it because it doesn’t spoil, like liquid stock, and the flavor is preferable to that of powdered bouillon. We used the low sodium chicken version for this recipe. I like to use the low sodium version of prepared ingredients whenever possible. You can always add salt later, but you can’t take it out.
The sausage we used is a jalapeno chicken sausage. We could have used any number of sausages, but this one was perfect. The brand is “al fresco”. We like chilis, and hardly make a dish without some kind of heat. The jalapeno flavor was barely noticeable, but if you’d like to substitute a milder sausage I think it would still taste great.
Finally, Zoodles. It is just zucchini. You can also use yellow squash. This is, basically, an alternative to pasta. So you can substitute pasta. But I recommend at least trying the Zoodles. The flavors are great with the sage and pumpkin in this dish, and it gives a lighter texture to a dish that may become too heavy with pasta. We used a vegetable peeler designed to julienne vegetables. A mandoline also works. Here is a great post on this subject. If you don’t have any tools, it will be, admittedly, difficult to create the desired shape and size, but it can be done.
This is an easy and versatile recipe. The flavor suggests that it took a lot longer than it did. It would go well with one of the many pumpkin beers available. Anderson Valley Pinchy Jeek is an amazing bourbon barrel aged pumpkin, but may be hard to find. Dogfish Head Punk is more accessible and would also supplement the flavors in the dish. A dry Belgian white beer, in the style of Hoegaarden would be nice. If you’re drinking wine, I think a spicy Gruner Veltliner would work perfectly.
- 2 c Pumpkin (canned)
- 3 oz Bacon, chopped
- 1 Med. Onion
- 4 oz Crimini Mushrooms, sliced
- 7 cloves Garlic, chopped
- 2 c Chicken broth
- 2 tbsp Heavy Cream
- 2 tbsp Tomato Paste
- ½ c White Wine
- 1-1/2 c Water
- Salt and Pepper, to taste
- ½ tsp Oregano
- ½ tsp Thyme
- 4 Sage Leaves, chopped
- ½ lb Chicken Sausage, sliced
- 2 Zucchini, small
- Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Place sausage in a baking pan and add ½ c of water and place in oven. Bake until thoroughly done. Continue with next steps while your sausage is cooking.
- Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium heat until crispy, remove with slotted spoon to a plate lined with paper towel.
- Add onion to the leftover bacon fat and cook until softened about 5 minutes. Add mushrooms and cook until softened about 3 minutes, then tomato paste and garlic and cook until fragrant being careful not to burn, adding wine cooking until it reduces by half.
- Add the chicken broth and pumpkin mixing it all together until uniform. Add salt, pepper, oregano and fresh sage, adjusting any spice and texture (adding more chicken broth) at this point. Slowly drizzle cream into mixture. Reduce heat to low and simmer.
- To make zoodles, use a julienne peeler to make strips placing them in a microwave safe bowl. Microwave on high until reaching desired consistency. For "al dente" microwave for 30 seconds. Slice sausage.
- Plate zoodles, topping with the pumpkin sauce and sliced sausage. Garnish with parmesan cheese and fresh sage.