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Tuesday, October 21, 2008


So I jumped on the pumpkin bandwagon. Actually, I've always loved pumpkin, but the only thing I've ever done with it is make pumpkin dip. I really wanted to make Reading, 'Riting & Recipes (adapted from Cara's Cravings) pumpkin cheesecake brownies so I started with those. I served them to some friends who came over to play Rock Band 2 & they really enjoyed them. They are very rich, but delicious!

Pumpkin Pie Cheesecake Swirl Brownies
Adapted from Reading, 'Riting & Recipes and Cara's Cravings.

Ok, so it's a super close up brownie - not sure why it has so many holes in it!

Brownie Batter
3/4 cup butter, melted
1 cup sugar
1 tbsp pure vanilla extract
2 eggs
1/2 cup all purpose flour
1/2 cup unsweetened cocoa powder
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 tsp cinnamon

Cheesecake Batter
6 oz cream cheese, softened (I used neufchatel cream cheese)
1 egg
1/3 cup sugar
2 tbsp flour
1/2 cup pumpkin puree
1/4 tsp pure vanilla extract
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/4 tsp each ground ginger and ground cloves (I omitted the cloves since I didn't have any)

Preheat oven to 350F. Grease an 8x8" square metal baking pan. (I used a glass baking dish)

For the Brownies
Beat together melted butter, sugar, and vanilla, then beat in eggs one at a time. Combine dry ingredients and then gradually stir into butter mixture by hand.

For the Cheesecake
In a separate bowl, beat together all ingredients.

To assemble
Spread about 2/3 of chocolate batter into prepared pan. Spread the pumpkin batter over it, distributing evenly. Drop the remaining brownie batter over cheesecake batter. To make the swirls, run a butter knife back and forth through the pan - don't be afraid to go all the way to the bottom of the pan like I didn't on this batch!

Bake for 35-40 minutes, or until center is set. Cool completely and chill before cutting and serving.


I had some pumpkin left over so I went on search for a pumpkin sauce. I've always wanted to try it so I figured this would be the perfect time to do that. I found a Rachael Ray recipe - simple & tasty.

Pasta with Pumpkin & Sausage
Adapted from Rachael Ray

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon
1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage (I only used 2 links to save on meat)
4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped
1 medium onion, finely chopped (I omitted)
1 bay leaf, fresh or dried
4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffonade, about 2 tablespoons (would have loved to use, but couldn't find it in the store!)
1 cup dry white wine (I used Pinot Grigio)
1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container
1 cup canned pumpkin
1/2 cup (3 turns around the pan) heavy cream
1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated
Coarse salt and black pepper
1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente
Romano or Parmigiano, for grating


Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

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1 comment:

  1. I actually have pumpkin-flavored pasta... that I bet I could use for the pumpkin and sausage pasta meal! I'll let you know how it goes if I try it!