Pumpkin Sage Baked Ziti

‘Tis the season for pumpkin. Seems like that shit is in everything! It may be overly  and inappropriately used these days but let’s not let the scourge known only as “pumpkin spice” cast a shadow over the extremely versatile and completely delicious ingredient. We can rise above the latte, the detergent, the… Pringle? Seriously? What in the actual FUCK, people?!?! 

Do not despair and remember that pumpkin is an actual thing that grows from the earth and it basically tastes nothing like the cloyingly sweet artificial flavors that make up these questionable snacks!

You will need the following:

  • 1 pound ziti (or penne or whatever), cooked to aldente, drained and set aside.
  • 1 15oz can of pumpkin purée, or you can make your own, like I did here.
  • 1 yellow onion, diced
  • 4 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 7 leaves of fresh sage, cut in a chiffonade (or thin strips of you’d like to avoid pretentiousness) 
  • 1 cup dry white wine
  • 2 cups vegetable stock. You can buy it, but why would you when you can get it here for free?
  • 1 tsp smoky paprika
  • 1 tsp nutmeg
  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Directions:

  1. In a large cast iron skillet, add a bit of olive oil and sautée your onions until transparent. Add garlic and bay leaf, cook one minute more. 
  2. Add nutmeg and sage, reserving a bit to sprinkle over the top, add wine. Cook over medium until wine reduces to half, about 4 minutes. 
  3. Add vegetable stock and bring to a boil.
  4. Next add your pumpkin purée and thoroughly combine. The sauce will become thick quickly. S&P to taste. 
  5. Pour the sauce over your pasta and mix well. Return the pasta to the skillet, sprinkle Parmesan cheese over the top and sprinkle remaining sage. 
  6. Bake in a 350 degree oven for 25-30 minutes until cheese is melted and the edges begin to crisp.

Serve this with a nice salad and you’ve got a balanced and vegetarian meal that will impress even the most vehement of the pumpkin spice haters in your life. Swearing Mom out.

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