This savoury pasta punches above its weight for flavour. Chockful of vegetables, it’s quickly prepared and enjoyed by all age groups. If you can’t find pie pumpkin, butternut squash is an excellent substitute.

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Cavatappi with Italian Sausage, Pumpkin and Kale

  • Yield: Serves 6. 1x


  • 454 g or 1 lb sweet Italian Sausage, casings removed
  • 15 ml or 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 160 g or 6 oz yellow onion, chopped (1 medium)
  • 6 g or 2 tsp garlic, chopped
  • 125 ml or ½ c dry white wine
  • 375 ml or c chicken stock, preferably homemade
  • 500 g or 3 c butternut squash or pie pumpkin, peeled, seeds and strings removed, cut into ½” cubes
  • 454 g or 1 lb kale, trimmed, ribs removed and roughly chopped (1 large bunch)
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 340 g or 12 oz Cavatappi, Campanelle, or other short pasta
  • 27 g or ½ c grated Parmesan cheese


  1. In a large pot, over high heat, bring six quarts of well-salted cold water to a boil.
  2. In a large skillet over medium heat, break up the sausage and sauté until well browned (8–10 minutes). Remove to a colander to drain. Warm the olive oil in the same skillet and sauté onion until translucent (3–4 minutes).  Add the garlic and sauté briefly (1 minute). Stir in the wine to deglaze the pan; cook until it is mostly evaporated (3 minutes). Return the drained sausage to the skillet. Add the stock and pumpkin; cook until the pumpkin is nearly tender (8 minutes). Add the kale, cover the skillet and cook until the kale is wilted and the pumpkin is completely tender (4 minutes). Adjust the seasonings.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta until al denté (8-10 minutes). Reserve ½ c of the pasta water and drain the pasta.
  4. Add the pasta to the skillet with sufficient pasta water to generously coat the pasta and vegetables.
  5. Serve immediately, topped with the grated Parmesan cheese.


Adapted from Fine Cooking Pasta with Pumpkin, Sausage and Cavolo Nero.

  • Author: Helen Kain