In our Season 1 premiere in 2006, Rachael treats her first celebrity guest ever, Diane Sawyer, to her Pumpkin & Sage Pasta. In return, Diane brought Rach her co-anchor Charlie Gibson's Enchilada Casserole.
- 1 pound penne with lines
- 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (EVOO)
- 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage
- 1 medium onion, finely chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 1 cup chicken stock
- 1/3 cup heavy cream
- 10 leaves sage, cut into thin slivers
- 1 14-ounce can pumpkin puree
- 1 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (eyeball it)
- 1 bunch chives, chopped
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
Heat a medium non-stick skillet over medium-high heat. Add EVOO and brown the sausage, breaking it up with the back of a spoon.
While the sausage cooks, place a large pot over high heat and bring to a boil for the pasta. Once boiling, add salt and the pasta and cook to al dente according to package directions.
Transfer sausage to a paper towel-lined plate, and add the onion and garlic. Cook over moderate heat until tender but not brown. Add the wine and return the sausage to the skillet, continue to cook a couple of minutes.
Add the chicken stock, heavy cream, sage and pumpkin. Bring up to a bubble and simmer until thick, a couple of minutes. Add the pasta and cheese and season with the nutmeg. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce.
Taste and check seasoning, add salt and pepper to taste. Serve the pasta garnished with a sprinkle of chives.