From the kitchen of One Perfect Bite...We are home again, just in time to feed the gangs of ghosts and goblins roaming down our streets. I hope this lovely pasta will keep them on their feet. Forgive that, please. At my best, I'm not a poet and when I'm sleep deprived I'm simply not responsible for what I say or write. Despite that, I wanted to let you know we are back and chock full of tales and recipes to share with you over the course of the next few weeks. In the meantime, I hope you'll accept this lovely recipe as proof of my good intentions. It first appeared in Family Circle magazine and it is perfect for an All Hollows' Eve supper. The casserole is easy to prepare and, save for the mezzi rigatoni, you'll find all the ingredients you need in your local grocery store. Mezzi rigatoni is half the length of its larger, more popular cousin and while it is nice to use here, any tubular pasta can be substituted. I hope you'll give this recipe a try. It is a nice change from the usual pasta dishes we prepare for our families. Here's how it is made.
Pumpkin, Sausage and Sage Rigatoni...from the kitchen of One Perfect Bite courtesy of Family Circle magazine
4 12-ounces links uncooked hot Italian sausage, casings removed
1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
1 29-ounce can solid-pack pumpkin
1-1/2 cups low-fat milk
4 ounces Neufchatel cheese, softened
2 egg yolks, beaten
1 cup + 2 tbsp grated Asiago cheese
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
3/4 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
1/2 teaspoon salt
1 pound rigatoni (mezzi rigatoni if possible)
1/3 cup panko bread crumbs
1) Heat oven to 350 degrees F. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to boiling.
2) Add sausage to a large skillet set over medium heat. Cook 8 to 10 minutes or until browned, breaking apart with a wooden spoon. Stir in sage and cook 1 minute. Remove with a slotted spoon; set aside. Pour off and discard drippings.
3) In same skillet, whisk pumpkin, milk, Neufchatel, egg yolks, 1 cup of the Asiago, the nutmeg, pumpkin pie spice and salt. Stir over medium heat until cheeses are melted.
4) Meanwhile, cook rigatoni in boiling water 1 minute less than package directions, about 9 minutes. Drain, reserving 1 cup of the pasta water. Return pasta to pot. Stir in sausage, pumpkin mixture and reserved pasta water. Mix well to combine. Transfer to a 13 x 9 x 2-inch dish and top with panko and remaining 2 tablespoons Asiago. Bake at 350 degrees F for 20 minutes. Turn broiler on HIGH and broil 1 to 2 minutes or until top is lightly browned. Yield: 8 servings.
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