This recipe combines the earthy sweetness of pumpkin with the savory richness of a creamy sauce, all served over your favorite pasta. Topped with crispy sage-infused breadcrumbs, it’s a delightful blend of flavors and textures that’s sure to become a fall favorite. Whether you’re a seasoned cook or a beginner in the kitchen, this recipe is a comforting and satisfying choice for any occasion. Let’s dive into how to create this mouthwatering pumpkin pasta recipe!
Ingredients & Substitutions
To create a lusciously creamy base for the sauce, canned pumpkin puree is utilized, but feel free to experiment with fresh pumpkin puree if it’s accessible. To imbue the sauce with richness, full-fat coconut milk is recommended, but any other non-dairy cream would work instead.
Providing a layer of complexity and tanginess, tomato paste is an essential element.
Fresh sage leaves impart a delightful herbal nuance, though dried sage can be used sparingly as a more concentrated substitute.
Elevating the dish’s flavor and creaminess, we use vegan parmesan cheese. And last but not least, vegan butter plays a pivotal role; in its absence, margarine or coconut oil can step in seamlessly. Don’t forget to season with salt and pepper as you go to achieve the desired taste.
- Pan or Skillet: You’ll need a pan or skillet for toasting the breadcrumbs and sautéing the sage leaves and garlic. A non-stick pan is a good choice for this recipe.
- Wooden Spoon or Spatula: Use a wooden spoon or spatula for stirring the sauce and pasta. It helps prevent scratching in non-stick pans and ensures even mixing.
- Grater: If you’re using a block of vegan parmesan cheese, a grater will come in handy for grating it into the sauce. Choose a fine grater for a smoother texture.
- Knife and Cutting Board: You’ll need a sharp knife and cutting board to mince garlic and finely chop sage leaves for the breadcrumb topping.
How to Make Pumpkin Pasta
To make this recipe, start by toasting the breadcrumbs in a pan over medium heat with olive oil and finely chopped sage. Keep stirring until they turn golden brown, and then season with salt and pepper. Set the breadcrumb mixture aside.
While the breadcrumbs are toasting, cook your pasta according to the package instructions.
In the same pan, melt 1 tablespoon of vegan butter. Cook the whole sage leaves for about 3 minutes until they become soft and fragrant. Remove the sage leaves from the pan and set them aside.
Now, add 4 cloves of minced garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. If there isn’t enough butter left in the pan, you can add a little more.
Into the same pan, add the canned pumpkin puree, tomato paste, coconut milk, and hot chili flakes. Stir everything together and let it cook for about 5 minutes.
Once your pasta is cooked, drain it and add it to the pan with the sauce. Gradually add the pasta reserve water, ½ cup at a time, until you achieve the desired thick and creamy consistency. Stir in the grated vegan parmesan cheese.
Finally, top each individual serving with the sage breadcrumb mixture and additional vegan parmesan cheese if desired. Enjoy!
Tips & Tricks
- Reserve Pasta Water: When draining your cooked pasta, be sure to save some of the pasta water. This starchy water will help create a creamy consistency when you mix it into the sauce.
- Adjust Sauce Thickness: Add the pasta reserve water gradually to the sauce until you achieve your desired thickness. This allows you to customize the sauce to your liking, whether you prefer it thicker or thinner.
- Fresh Sage Leaves: Using fresh sage leaves adds a burst of flavor and aroma to the dish. Be careful not to overcook them, as they can become bitter. Just a few minutes in the pan should do the trick.
- Vegan Parmesan Cheese: Opt for a good-quality vegan parmesan cheese for the best flavor. You can adjust the amount to suit your taste and sprinkle extra on top for added cheesiness.
- Toast the Breadcrumbs: Don’t rush the step of toasting the breadcrumbs. It adds a delightful crunch and depth of flavor to the dish. Keep an eye on them to prevent burning.
FAQ: The Best Pumpkin Pasta
If fresh sage is unavailable, dried sage can be used as a substitute. Just keep in mind that dried sage is more potent, so use it sparingly.
Certainly, you can skip the vegan parmesan cheese if needed. The dish will still be delicious, but the cheese does add a savory depth to the sauce.
This pasta pairs beautifully with a side salad, garlic bread, or roasted vegetables. It’s versatile enough to be a standalone meal or part of a larger spread.
Freezing is not recommended as the creamy sauce may separate upon thawing. It’s best enjoyed fresh or refrigerated for a short period.
The Best Pumpkin Pasta
- 1 box pasta noodles of choice (500g about 16oz) (use lentil noodles a GF high protein option)
- 1 cup pasta reserve water (add in gradually)
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup full fat coconut milk
- 3 tbsp tomato paste
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- ¼ cup fresh sage leaves
- ½ cup vegan parm, grated
- 1 tbsp vegan butter
- salt and pepper to taste
Bread Crumb Topping
- 1 cup bread crumbs of choice (I used panko but sub GF if needed)
- 8 leaves sage, finely chopped
- 1-2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- salt and pepper to taste
- Toast the breadcrumbs in a pan on medium heat with the olive oil, and chopped sage. Continue stirring for a few minutes until golden brown. Add salt and pepper to taste and set aside.
- Begin cooking the pasta according to the package instructions.
- While the pasta is cooking, use the same pan and add 1 tbsp of vegan butter. Cook the whole sage leaves for about 3 mins until soft and fragrant. Remove the sage leaves from the pan and set aside.
- Next, add 4 cloves of minced garlic to the pan and cook for 30 seconds. (If there isn't enough butter left in the pan, add a little more.)
- Add pumpkin puree, tomato paste, coconut milk, and hot chili flakes. Stir to combine and cook for about 5 mins.
- Drain the cooked pasta, and add into the pan with the sauce. Add pasta reserve water to mixture ½ cup at a time until you get the perfect, thick creamy consistency. Stir in the grated parmesan cheese.
- Top each individual dish with the sage breadcrumb mixture, and more vegan parm if desired. Buon Appetito!
This creamy pumpkin pasta recipe offers a harmonious medley of flavors that will warm your heart and satisfy your taste buds. With its creamy pumpkin sauce, aromatic sage, and crispy breadcrumbs, it’s a delightful dish that captures the essence of comfort food. Whether enjoyed as a weeknight dinner or served to impress guests, this recipe is a versatile addition to your culinary repertoire. So, gather your ingredients, follow the steps, and savor the deliciousness of this autumn-inspired pasta creation. Buon Appetito!