This dish combines those classic fall flavors we all love together in a one-pot pasta concept for the ultimate cozy dinner factor. All of the ingredients get cooked together in a wide pan followed by the pasta and cooking liquid. Put the lid on and let the pasta cook to al dente. When you take the lid off, all that's left is to add final seasonings, and voila! Dinner. Revel in your quick autumn dinner genius. —Kelsey Tenney
fennel bulb, thinly sliced and roughly chopped
large carrot, peeled and chopped
cloves garlic, minced
red pepper flakes
links (about 3.2 oz) Italian hot sausage, casing removed
leaf of sage
dry white wine (or 1/4 cup lemon juice + 1/4 cup water)
2 1/2 cups
(8 oz) dried penne
canned pumpkin puree, unsweetened
a lemon, juiced (about 2 tablespoons)
freshly-grated black pepper
parsley, roughly chopped
finely grated Parmigiano Reggiano or Pecorino, plus more for serving
In a large, tall-sided frying pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. When glistening and hot, add the prepared fennel, carrot, garlic, and red pepper flakes. Continue to heat, stirring occasionally, until the fennel and carrot begin to soften, about 2 minutes. Add the sausage to the pan, breaking it up and crumbling it as it cooks, about 5 more minutes.
Add the sage to the pan followed by the wine. Use the wine as a deglazing liquid to pick up any bits at the bottom of the pan. Let the wine reduce slightly for two minutes, until it gets rather fragrant. Add the chicken stock and penne to the pan. Stir to combine.
Bring the liquid to a low boil, and push any pasta that is sticking out into the cooking liquid. Reduce heat to medium low so that the liquid is simmering. Cover and cook 7 minutes.
Add the pumpkin and lemon juice. Stir to combine and cover to cook another 3 or so minutes. Remove the lid and stir the pasta. It should be close to al dente, and the sauce should be thickening. Let the sauce continue to reduce slightly over the heat as you add the salt, pepper, and parsley to the pan. Stir to combine. Taste the pasta and ensure it is cooked through.
Shut the heat off—the sauce will thicken as it sits a bit more. Add the cheese to the pan and stir in. Taste for salt and adjust as necessary. I added another 1/4 teaspoon salt.
Roughly chop/tear the fronds from the fennel bulb (optional) and stir into the pasta. Serve with another grating of cheese and cracked black pepper with each bowl and enjoy immediately! If you want more acidity, squeeze a lemon wedge over the top when serving.