Pumpkin Ragu

Thanks for all the kind comments on my 1,000,000 page view post!  You are so kind.  And it’s nice to see people comment that I didn’t know were out there (Hi Larry and Wild Child!).  You have until tomorrow to still enter my giveaway.  Good luck!

Yesterday’s breakfast was not only filling, but it was so tasty!  I scrambled 1/2 a cup of egg whites with 1 cup of spinach and 3 ounces of cooked, diced red potato.  Then I wrapped the scrambled mix with 3 slices (1.5 ounces) of deli ham, then sprinkled with 3/4 ounce of cheddar cheese and put them in the toaster oven when I got to work.  On the side – more delicious cantaloupe and watermelon.  Breakfast comes in at 333 calories, 11 fat, 29 carbs, 2.9 fiber and 29 protein.

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My MIL told me a week ago that she made a Rachael Ray pumpkin ragu dish that she brought to a potluck and everyone just loved it.  I glanced at the recipe and decided to put it on my lunch menu this week.  Tony heard the word “pumpkin” and was out!

I am now stocked with canned pumpkin – my store had Libby’s on sale for .99 cents a can. Open-mouthed smile    So when it got time to make the ragu, I looked at the recipe again and realized there was no tomato sauce.  Huh.  I decided to give it a shot anyway.

Pumpkin Ragu

from my MIL and Rachael Ray (and adapted by me)

Makes 4, 1/2 cup servings:  253 calories, 13 fat, 17 carbs, 2.2 fiber and 11 protein


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 pound italian sausage
  • 3 cloves garlic
  • 1/2 cup white whine
  • 1 cup chicken broth
  • 1/2 cup canned pumpkin
  • 1/2 cup milk
  • 1 cup tomato sauce
  • pinch of cinnamon
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper

Heat half the olive oil in a pan and brown Italian sausage.  Remove from pot.  Add remainder of oil and cook garlic and ONION, because I know all of you will put a diced medium onion in this sauce, and cook until the onion and garlic start to brown.

Add wine to the pan and reduce, about 2 minutes.   Add chicken stock and pumpkin and stir until thickened and bubbly.  Add sausage back into the pan, reduce the heat and add the milk (or cream).   Season with cinnamon, salt, pepper, Italian seasoning and crushed red pepper.

I followed my MIL’s directions, except I ended up with . . . Italian sausage soup.  My gravy was really thin and never really thickened.  I don’t know if it was because I reduced the amount of sausage by half, or because I used skim milk instead of heavy cream?   So I ended up adding 1 cup of tomato sauce. 

I was really really happy with the outcome – its slightly sweet, but a kick from the crushed red pepper is a great balance to the pumpkin.  I actually had a co-worker taste it and tell me if he knew there was pumpkin in it, and he said that he couldn’t tell.  See Tony!  I think you’d like it!

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I cooked up 2 ounces (dry) of gluten free pasta – which was really very good.


My sister said that it tastes good the first time, but that the leftovers are kind of gummy.  With a cup of baby spinach, my plate comes in at 465 calories, 14 fat, 64 carbs, 6.9 fiber and 16 protein.

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It was a gorgeous night last night – when I left the office it was 77 degrees!

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The sun really sets fast though!  I decided to make Grilled Chicken Caesar salad for dinner last night.  I lit the grill and by the time it got to temperature, it was already dark.  This chicken was half of one chicken breast that I butterflied to make thinner so it would grill quicker.  It kind of looks like an oven mitt!

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Dinner comes in at 470 calories, 33 fat, 20 carbs, 7 fiber and 28 protein.

And I may have had one chocolate/peanut butter chip cookie last night.  Tony had a jones for some chocolate chip cookies with bacon.  Um, no bacon in the house, so he had to settle for a chocolate and peanut butter chip cookie – still very good!  I’ve never bought peanut butter chips before but, um, I think they are insulin worthy!

I am back at the gym today!  I have exactly 9 days to meet my 170 mile challenge goal, and with a couple set backs, I still have 106.62 miles to go – I see a lot of bike rides in my future!

Make it a great day!


30 thoughts on “Pumpkin Ragu

  1. oh my gosh! That salad looks AMAZING! I need I need! I like the idea of wrapping deli meat around the eggs. I will have to do that for Josh

  2. Peanut butter chips on oatmeal is pretty awesome…. just sayin’

  3. I agree, we eat gluten free pasta fairly often. It tastes great fresh, but once reheated it gets very mushy and gummy!

  4. Hum… interesting, Pumpkin Ragu. I have always been a little skeptical of Pumpkin flavored main dishes other than desserts. But now that is comes “officially recommended by BIZ” I will give it a try. You haven’t steered me wrong yet.
    I’m exhausted just thinking of 106.62 miles in only nine days.

    • I was skeptical too, but I had two co-workers taste it, and neither one of them could detect the pumpkin at all. Go for it! I got 12.9 miles done today at lunch – I think I’ll make it!

  5. Whoa, that pumpkin ragu just looks delicious! Gotta love it when everything comes together in the end. 🙂

  6. Pumpkin ragu sounds delicious!! Congrats on that many page views – that’s incredible!

  7. Whenever a recipe calls for heavy cream, not only is it intended to flavor it but also to thicken it. You should have substituted fat free evaporated milk and you should have ended up with the consistency you were looking for!

    It’s very deceptive to have the temperatures be summer-like and the daylight be winter-like isn’t it? We end up turning on the outside garage light and pushing the grill under that this time of year.

    • I never would have thought of fat free evaporated milk – I’ll have to keep some stocked in my pantry – thanks Helen! And thanks for reposting Tami’s shrimp thai dish – I can’t believe I missed it, and can’t wait to make it! 😀

  8. Pumpkin Ragu looks and sounds amazing!

  9. I have never put romaine lettuce on the grill, guess I’m going to have to try that!
    That ragu does look good. I think it was because you didn’t use heavy cream which tends to thicken things up.

  10. That is a steal for Libby’s pumpkin. It hasn’t even been on sale in my grocery store yet. The pumpkin ragu looks delicious.

    I can’t believe there are only 9 days left for the challenge. I only have 22.75 miles left despite the Achilles issue. I’ve been riding the bike and using the elliptical at the gym.

    I hope your nice weather continues. I’m freezing right now and I am hearing rumors of a noreaster early next week. Ridiculous! Have a great day Biz.

  11. i have always wanted to grill lettuce for a salad but never have…maybe next summer when i break out the grill again?!

  12. I’ve had a grilled salad twice, both times very good, I should try and duplicate it on my grill. Congrats on your stats!

  13. always love your grilled meals 🙂 i got so used to missing mine, i forget that we now have one again!

  14. I have to tell you – waking up this morning drinking my coffee and seeing your welcome on today’s post, just made my day!! This Pumpkin Ragu looks delicious! I’ve already stocked up, I mean I have a few cans hanging around, on pumpkin. I love anything pumpkin. Basically, I love food. =]
    Your challenge is a great motivator to get my butt back in gear walking. Clearly, you are a good influence on me.

  15. That chicken does look like a oven mitt! I have not used canned pumpkin in savory dishes – very interesting idea. Every time I go to the grocery store these days I buy a couple cans of pumpkin. I love it in my morning oatmeal.

  16. I bet I would love that pumpkin ragu also, I am not scared!! 🙂 Our days are getting shorter but blissfully cooler, thank goodness.

  17. Congrats on 1,000,000 page views!!! The pumpkin ragu sounds yummy, great option for Halloween. I love the pics you took. I don’t think I ever posted about trying the grilled salad, so good. Not enough time in the kitchen these days.

  18. My hubs hears pumpkin and he’s running too. I was making these dog treats one day with pumpkin, rice, blueberries, can chicken, etc. He asked what it was and I said “Dinner”, immediately he’s like, “I’m not eating!” Lol! The salad looks great! I have been munching on Halloween candy lately…boo!! (Get it ;P)

  19. I like pumpkin, the ragu looks so good. Bet it adds a nice sweetness to the sauce. The salad looks delicious!

  20. your pumpkin ragu sounds good! I’ve been wanting to try a cheesy squash pasta kinda dish…I think this is my year.

  21. […] the Libby I am used to using, it was like solid pumpkin and not a puree.  On the menu tonight, Pumpkin Ragu over pasta.  I used turkey Italian sausage, but beside that I followed the recipe exactly.  […]

  22. And here I got excited for a pasta sauce that didn’t have tomatoes in it. I’d try out a pumpkin ragu – I bet it would be good with turkey sausage. Hmmm….the wheels are turning…

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