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Pasta with Pumpkin, Sausage, and Cavolo Nero

Scott Phillips

Servings: 6

This hearty fall dish is a wonderful way to incorporate fresh pumpkin into a simple but thoroughly satisfying midweek meal.

Video Recipe: Watch a step-by-step video of the Pasta with Pumpkin, Sausage, and Cavolo Nero.


  • Kosher salt
  • 1 lb. sweet Italian sausage, casings removed if using links
  • 1 Tbs. olive oil (optional)
  • 1 medium yellow onion, chopped
  • 3 cups 3/4-inch-diced peeled, seeded pumpkin
  • 1/4 cup dry white wine
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp. dried marjoram
  • 1-1/2 cups lower-salt chicken broth
  • 10 oz. cavolo nero kale (aka Lacinato, black, or dinosaur kale), trimmed, ribs removed, leaves cut into 1-inch pieces
  • 8 oz. dried campanelle pasta
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano; more for serving
  • Freshly ground black pepper

Nutritional Information

  • Nutritional Sample Size Per Serving
  • Calories (kcal) : 370
  • Fat Calories (kcal): 140
  • Fat (g): 15
  • Saturated Fat (g): 5
  • Polyunsaturated Fat (g): 2
  • Monounsaturated Fat (g): 7
  • Cholesterol (mg): 25
  • Sodium (mg): 920
  • Carbohydrates (g): 42
  • Fiber (g): 3
  • Protein (g): 17


  • Bring a large pot of well-salted water to a boil over high heat.
  • In a heavy-duty 12-inch skillet over medium heat, cook the sausage, breaking it up into small pieces with a wooden spoon, until mostly browned, 6 to 8 minutes. Push the sausage towards the edge of the skillet and add the olive oil if the center of the pan is dry (this will depend on the amount of fat in the sausage). Add the onion and cook until golden and the sausage is well browned, about 8 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin, wine, garlic, and marjoram and cook until the wine evaporates, 3 to 4 minutes. Add 3/4 cup of the broth and cook until the pumpkin is almost tender, about 8 minutes. Add the kale and the remaining 3/4 cup broth, cover, and cook until the pumpkin and kale are tender, about 4 minutes.
  • Meanwhile, cook the pasta in the boiling water according to package directions until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup of the pasta water and then drain well. Add the pasta to the skillet with enough of the pasta water to coat the pasta and vegetables generously. Stir in the Parmigiano and season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve with additional Parmigiano.

 Serve with an Arugula & Fennel Salad.


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Reviews (10 reviews)

  • grlup | 09/29/2014

    This was good but seemed to be lacking something. I made sure to use a cooking pumpkin. After reading the other reviews I did add extra garlic, marjoram and cheese and some red pepper flakes. It turned out good but could be better. I think I will try it again but use a butternut squash instead of pumpkin.

  • steveftc | 11/19/2013

    I loved the blend of flavor, and didn't feel a need to add any extra seasoning. I hesitated to make the recipe because I hate peeling winter squash. I cut it all up, then peeled each piece individually - time consuming but easier than peeing the whole pumpkin at once. Four stars only because of the extra work.

  • Cafeuerstein | 10/13/2013

    Excellent. I didn't have the sausage called for so I used the 4 small maple flavored breakfast sausages that I had on hand and added 1 tsp real maple syrup and it was fabulous!

  • msjames | 12/03/2012

    Substituted Delicata squash, skin and all, in place of the pumpkin. Like its sweetness and flavor. Fixed for teen age boys, they devoured it and asked for it again. A keeper! I, too, added a few red pepper flakes, enhanced the flavor.

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