For five or six years, this has been our definitive fall dinner. In the summer we plant sage in the yard expressly for use in pumpkin pasta. We only make it in October, not only because that's when pumpkins are available, but also because the dish becomes that much more special due to anticipation.
1. Peel and cut a small pumpkin (about 3#) into small cubes. Keep the seeds from the pumpkin, spread on a cookie sheet, and sprinkle with kosher salt; dry them in the oven: about 375 for five minutes, then shut off and leave them until dry.
2. Sautee in big dutch oven about 8-10 slices of diced bacon (I like the low-fat turkey version), a medium diced onion, and a good handful of fresh sage cut into ribbons; drain fat if using regular bacon. Add a can of chicken or vegetable stock and a dash of black pepper and a generous dash of allspice and bring to a boil; lower heat, add about 1/4 cup of heavy cream, and let simmer uncovered, on low-medium flame, for about 20 minutes. Here's the bacon, sage, onion, and pumpkin:
3. Boil water and cook a # of rigatoni or your favorite pasta al dente. Drain and add to pumpkin mixture. Add about a cut of good, shredded parmesan cheese. Add the dried pumpkin seeds. Stir well. Add more stock or cream if needed.