Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

Pasta with pumpkin and sausage never sounded appetizing to me. In fact, I’ve been stuck on this recipe for about 3 months because I have been so afraid to try it. I had to push past this fear because I told myself I wouldn’t skip any recipes. So here we are. I cooked this on Monday, January 25, 2016. The Monday after the Snowpocalypse.

Being a college student in one of the most expensive cities in the world, it’s only natural to shop at places that have the best deals. Trader Joe’s is the BEST cheap grocery store around my school, so of course I headed there to pick up my ingredients. Well, I received an unpleasant surprise because Trader Joe’s was completely barren. They had sold out of nearly everything. There were ZERO vegetables left, the bread section was completely empty, and the only thing that seemed to be on the shelves were baked beans. So much for getting my ingredients for cheap… thanks Snowpocalypse.

The only items I was able to pick up at Trader Joe’s were bay leaves and sage.

Onto the next store.

I have an order of grocery stores I go to, specifically for instances like this. I start out at Trader Joe’s, then onto Fairway, then Whole Foods, and if I’m still desperate for ingredients I unwillingly go to Gristedes (the prices at Gristedes are absolutely outrageous.)

Luckily, Fairway had pretty much every ingredient I needed, except for sweet sausage. I’m so glad my grocery store adventures for this recipe stopped at Whole Foods. Hopefully next time I’ll be able to pick everything up at Trader Joe’s.

Once I was back at the dorm, my friends River and Nicolette came over to cook with me.

One of the ingredients for this dish was dry white wine. We had the wine…but not a wine opener. This leads to the first dilemma of this recipe: how to open the wine. We searched ways to open it without having a corkscrew, and the first thing we tried was putting the bottle in a shoe and banging it against the wall. That did absolutely nothing, and thank God we didn’t put a dent in the wall. Next we try hammering a screwdriver into the cork…which worked, but now we had the cork stuck in the bottle. I guess we can say this was a half win because we got the bottle open, but now we don’t have a way to close it. Go us. Meh, someone will eventually drink it.

After we got the wine opened, we got on to cooking. We each chopped something up, then I was on sausage duty and River was on pasta duty. Dilemma number 2: one of our burners on the stove was burned out. This was easy to work around, but still a pain. The sausage took forever to brown, and curses to evoo because it splattered everywhere and burned like a bitch. Other than that everything else went off without a hitch.

I was still extremely nervous to try this recipe, simply because the combination of items did not sound good, but it sure did smell good. When the pasta was ready we called over our friend Adrian to join us for the moment of truth: the taste test.

River scooped the pasta into bowls for everyone and I grated some romano cheese on top. We counted down 3…2…1! and tried the first bite together. I’m pretty sure everyone was surprised at how good it was. I really loved it. All of the flavors meshed perfectly together. The pumpkin was there but not overwhelming, the cinnamon and nutmeg added the perfect amount of sweet spice, and the sausage gave it a huge burst of flavor.

On a scale from 1-5 hearts I have to give this recipe ♥♥♥♥♥ (5) hearts! Simply because I did not have high expectations for this dish and it completely blew me away. Also, the leftovers lasted me a week which is always a plus for a college student. What did I learn from this recipe? 1. Buy a freakin corkscrew. and 2. Don’t knock a recipe until you try it.

Until next week!

-Mary Honkus

P.S. I promise I’ll take more time to make the pictures of the food more appetizing, this picture sucks.

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