The following recipe and photography is courtesy of Lauren Schulte. To see more of her bites and meals, visit her Instagram @TheBiteSizePantry.
If you’re looking for a meal that has all of the fall vibes with a bit of a kick, this is the dish for you. To celebrate fall, I’ve taken one of my favorite seasonal staples, pumpkin, and combined it into one of my favorite comfort food meals, baked ziti.
That’s not all! Since I can never resist a little heat, I made sure to add in a bit of Chipotle to really round out the flavor. Whip this dish up any night of the week and your taste buds will be wishing fall could stick around forever.
This recipe makes 4-6 smallish servings, so I’d probably serve this with a big green side salad to make it a meal. If you don’t eat meat but still want that added protein factor, try using cooked lentils instead of the sausage. Just pre-cook the lentils as you would the pasta and add the lentils to the onion and garlic, then continue with the recipe as usual.
As I was making this sauce, I noticed how good it was on its own and how I’d totally be open to eating it as a soup instead of a sauce on pasta. So you can totally skip the pasta if you want!
- Total time:
- 1 yellow onion
- 1 Tbsp. olive oil
- 2 Tbsp. minced garlic
- 1 Tbsp. thyme
- 1 Tbsp. sage
- 2 Tbsp. chipotle powder
- 1/2 lb. sweet Italian sausage
- 1 15 oz. can pumpkin purée
- 1 small yellow squash, diced
- 1.5 cups chicken broth
- 1/2 tsp. salt
- Freshly-cracked pepper
- 8 oz. ziti pasta, cooked
- 1/4 cup heavy cream (optional)
- 1/4 cup grated Pecorino Romano
- Dice the onion and yellow squash and mince the garlic. Sauté in a skillet with the olive oil over medium heat until the onion is soft and transparent (about 3-5 minutes).
- Add Italian sausage and continue cooking until fully browned.
- Add the herbs to the onion, squash, garlic and sausage and sauté for about one more minute.
- Add the pumpkin purée, chicken broth, salt and pepper to the skillet and stir until the ingredients are combined and smooth.
- Turn the heat down to medium-low and allow the sauce to simmer for 15 minutes. During that time, cook the pasta according to the package directions, then drain in a colander.
- Once the sauce has simmered for 15 minutes, turn the heat down to low and stir in the heavy cream, or if you’re craving a more decadent dish, try Califia Farms pumpkin spice creamer (optional).
- Add the cooked and drained pasta to the skillet, stir to combine with the sauce and let it heat in the sauce over low heat for 2-3 minutes.
- Stir in the grated Pecorino Romano, top with a little cracked pepper and serve.