1 lb spicy Italian sausage, bulk (can sub sweet or mild Italian sausage if you don’t like spicy)
1 lb short cut pasta (rigatoni, penne, pennoni, Cavatappi)
1 shallot, minced
7 cloves garlic, minced
1 T fresh sage, chopped + a few leaves as garnish
1/2 c chicken broth
1/4 c reserved pasta water, more as needed
1 c pumpkin puree
1 1/2 c heavy cream
1/4 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cinnamon
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 c grated parmesan
7 oz whole milk ricotta cheese
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and grease a large casserole dish; set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta per instructions on package. When pasta is al dente, reserve 1/2 c pasta water and drain; set aside.
Heat oil and butter in a large skillet over medium high heat. When hot, add sausage and cook breaking up with the back of your spoon until fully cooked through. Drain any excess grease at this time.
Reduce heat to medium and add shallots, garlic, and sage; cook another 2-3 minutes, until everything is soft and really fragrant.
Pour in chicken broth and scrape your spoon along the bottom of the pan to release any brown bits. Now stir in pumpkin puree and heavy cream and season with salt, pepper, nutmeg and cinnamon. Reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes to allow the sauce to thicken up a bit.
Stir in parmesan and any reserved pasta water if needed. ( I used about 1/4 c reserved pasta water for reference)
Add drained pasta directly to the skillet with the sauce and toss to combine making sure all noodles are coated in the sauce.
Pour pasta into prepared casserole dish and spread into an even layer. Dollop ricotta all over the top. Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes. Uncover and increase oven temperature to 425 degrees. Bake for an additional 15-20 minutes, until top is golden in spots.