you just got punk’d!

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My love affair with pumpkin is far from over, so when I saw a jar of pumpkin pasta sauce on the shelves at work I immediately became determined to make my own.  A little pumpkin, some sage, how hard could it be? It wouldn’t have been that hard, but I kept worrying that the sauce wouldn’t thin out enough or that it would turn out sweet like pie rather than savory.

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There was no need to panic. Alex loved this fall take on baked ziti and I was pretty happy with it, too. It’s a little different, but just as delicious. If you’re feeling adventurous you can roast a sugar pumpkin and use the pureed inside for the base of the sauce, but for a quick dinner it’s just as good to make it with canned pumpkin.

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pumpkin baked ziti
printer-friendly version
makes 8 servings

ingredients:
3/4 pound ground sausage meat or links, cut open
1 tablespoon butter
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 shallot, chopped
1 small carrot, diced or grated
1 1/2 teaspoons dried sage
1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 tablespoon parsley
1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 tablespoons tomato paste
1-15 ounce can pumpkin puree
1/4 cup milk
16 ounces ziti
16 ounces ricotta cheese
12 ounces mozzarella cheese, shredded

directions:
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large sauce pan, saute the sausage over medium-high heat until browned. Remove the cooked sausage from the pan and set it aside. Lower the heat to medium-low, add the butter and olive oil to the same pan and saute the garlic, shallot and carrot until the shallot has turned clear and the carrot has softened. Add the herbs and spices and let cook for until aromatic, about 1 minute. Add the tomato paste, pumpkin and milk and stir until well combined and heated through. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al dente, drain, and put in a large mixing bowl. Add the pumpkin sauce, sausage,  ricotta, and half of the shredded mozzarella and mix it all together. Transfer it to an oven-safe baking dish and top with the rest of the mozzarella. Bake for about 20 minutes or until the cheese melts and the sauce starts to bubble. Serve hot.

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About Jessica

New Yorker, coffee addict, cook, blogger, baker of delicious things.
This entry was posted in cheese, dinner, pasta, pork and tagged , , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

2 Responses to you just got punk’d!

  1. Mom says:

    Did you create this one?

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