Creamy Baked Pasta with Sausage, Fennel and Pumpkin

Fall is here! Fall is HERE! At least in southwest Virginia. 

I've already had a pumpkin latte from Starbucks

I'm wearing sweatshirts and fuzzy slippers outside at night, by the campfire

I made a fall wreath for our front door and pretended to be Suzie Homemaker. (And I burnt the hell out of my fingertips with the hot glue gun.)

I'm surrounded by fog on my way to work and have a space heater set up in my office. (Will people judge me if I wear slippers at my desk?) 

I stare longingly at the pumpkins outside the grocery store, wondering when-oh-when someone will take me to the pumpkin patch so I can pick out a doozy. Or two or three. 

Football pretty much consumes our lives. (Why are there football games every day of the week except Tuesday and Wednesday? WHY? That gets me thinking... Why is there a whole season dedicated to man tv (i.e. football) and I just have to accept it? When does the 6-month chick flick season begin?)

And I've started making fall-inspired dishes starring pumpkin. Like this mac & cheese meets baked ziti meets this dish:  Spicy Sausage and Fennel Saute with Pumpkin Cauliflower. Love love love.


Dear Winter, 

Please stay away until December 24th. 

Yours truly,

Printable recipe HERE.

1/2 pound whole wheat short cut pasta
1 tablespoon olive oil or coconut oil
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1/2 pound ground sausage, spicy
1/2 cup 1% Chobani Greek yogurt
2/3 cup pure pumpkin puree
2/3 cup half and half
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon black pepper
1/2 teaspoon chili powder
1/2 cup shredded Parmesan cheese (plus some to sprinkle on top)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.

Cook the pasta one minute less than the directions on the box state. Drain and set aside.

Preheat a large ovenproof skillet or pan over medium-high heat. Add the sausage and cook until browned, about 10 minutes. Remove the sausage from the pan and place it on a paper towel-lined plate to remove excess grease.

Add the oil to the pan. When the oil is hot, add the fennel slices and saute for about 10 - 15 minutes, until softened. Remove the pan from the heat.

Meanwhile, combine the yogurt, pumpkin, half and half, salt pepper, chili powder and cheese in a mixing bowl. Stir to combine. 

Mix the pasta, fennel, and sausage together in the skillet. Pour the pumpkin sauce over top and stir everything together. Top with a little more Parmesan cheese if desired.

Bake, uncovered, for about 20 minutes, until the top is slightly crispy.


  1. This looks fantastic! What a perfect fall dish. I love dinners in a skillet and these flavors just go together so well. I'm pinning this to make soon. I'd love for you to link this up at our Weekend Potluck link party.

  2. This sounds good. I will have to share it with my neighbor who has grown a pumpkin weighing over a thousand pounds this summer lol Thanks for sharing.


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