Penne & pumpkin



By Annette Kukoy and Jackie Shayotovich

                       penne & pumpkin

Cooler autumn weather beckons us to try heartier dishes. (Photo provided)


Cooler fall weather calls for heartier meals. Here are some recipes are also quick and easy to make. Trish Carrabine, a member of Holy Spirit parish in Winfield, gave us her recipe for a delicious pasta and turkey sausage dish. We also made a flavorful butternut squash stew from a recipe given to us by Sister Karen Walther, SSND, who was active in the Diocese of Gary for many years and now lives in Milwaukee. The pumpkin cake was made from a recipe given to us at a fall open house held at an area gift shop. One of the co-owners, Tina Hines, said that it was her mother’s recipe and she was happy to share it with us.


Penne with Turkey Sausage and Spinach


2 cups penne pasta, uncooked

1/2 - 3/4  pounds sweet Italian turkey sausage

7 cups, firmly packed, fresh baby spinach leaves

1 (14-1/2 ounces) can diced tomatoes with basil, garlic and oregano, undrained

2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese


Cook pasta according to the package directions. Remove the casing from the sausage, crumble the sausage in a large skillet and cook until it’s no longer pink. Stir in the spinach and tomatoes and heat until the spinach is wilted. Add the drained pasta to the meat mixture and stir in the cheese.            .


Squash and Black Bean Stew

2 tablespoons canola oil

1 small onion, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 tablespoon chili powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

2 cloves garlic minced

1 package cubed fresh butternut squash

1 cup orange juice

1 teaspoon brown sugar

1 can (15 ounces) black beans, drained, rinsed

Cooked rice

Heat the oil in a large heavy skillet; add the onion, cumin, chili powder and salt. Cook, stirring often, about 5 minutes until the onion is soft. Add the garlic and cook 1 minute more. Stir in the cubed squash, orange juice and brown sugar; cook until squash is tender, about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the beans and cook until heated through. Serve over cooked rice.


Pumpkin Bars with Cream Cheese Frosting



4 large eggs

1 2/3 cups granulated sugar

1 cup canola oil

1 can (15 ounce) solid-pack pumpkin

2 cups all-purpose flour

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg

2 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 teaspoon salt


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. In a large bowl, beat the eggs, sugar, oil and pumpkin until well blended. Combine the flour, spices, baking powder, baking soda and salt in a medium bowl. Gradually add dry ingredients to the pumpkin mixture and mix well. Pour into an ungreased 15 x 10-in. baking pan. Bake for 25-30 minutes or until the tester inserted in the center comes out clean. Cool completely.



6 ounces cream cheese, softened

2 cups confectioners’ sugar

1/4 cup unsalted butter, softened

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

1 tablespoon milk

1/4 cups chopped walnuts (optional)


Beat the cream cheese, confectioners' sugar, butter and vanilla in a small bowl. Add enough milk to for spreading consistency. Spread evenly over bars and sprinkle with walnuts. Store in refrigerator.

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