Pumpkins are back in season, they were so beautiful at the farmer’s market on Friday that I just had to buy a few. I just can’t get enough of pumpkin when it comes into season. It just works in so many recipes and it’s so darn healthy for you, so I just had to make this Penne Pasta with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce for dinner Sunday night. Who knew how super rich it is in calcium, potassium, magnesium, and fiber this gorgeous gourd has. Being dairy free, calcium fortification is so important, which is why I try to incorporate pumpkin into our diet as much as the fall season allows. I thought why not throw some pumpkin into a “cheesy” alfredo sauce, I imagined this pretty pale orange color canvassing our plates. Well I am glad I did, this turned out so good! I added the maple syrup because I found it really brought out the pumpkin, highlighting it’s sweetness. Done in less than 20 minutes! Such an easy delicious dinner to make and full of good-for-you nutrients. Sure to bring smiles to everyone’s faces. Oh, and by the way…
LA Times featured my Penne Pasta with Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce as the highlight in the #weekendeats article, written by Jenn Harris! I was in the middle of carpool, while all the kids were getting into the car I got to check my twitter feed and see a tweet from Jenn Harris and LA Times food with a picture of the dish! I said to myself “Hey that’s my dish, Awesome!” At that point I had to put the phone down to get all these kids home safely. When I got home and settled the kids with snacks I finally read the article. It is so nice to be featured in the LA TIMES #weekendeats for something that I am cooking at home for the family or friends! So with my excitement, in case you couldn’t tell, I would love to share the article with all of you…and by the way, you have to make this pasta for dinner, you will love it! I bet you will also love that it’s ready in 20 minutes! Click on the link below:
2 1/2 boxes (20 ounces total) penne pasta or any type of pasta you like (I used De Boles Multi Grain Penne)
2 1/2 cups unsweetened coconut milk (I used So Delicious Unsweetened)
2 cups pumpkin puree, *made fresh or canned (will need about 16 ounces)
1 cup shredded style cheddar Daiya cheese
1/2 small onion, chopped
1 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus a couple of tablespoons for pasta water
1/2 teaspoon crushed black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 teaspoon maple syrup
2 tablespoons grape seed oil
1 tablespoon coconut oil or non-dairy margarine like Earth Balance Soy Free Spread
fresh flat leaf parsley, chopped for garnish
*I made fresh roasted pumpkin that I halved, took all the seeds to roast, then placed the pumpkin on a parchment lined baking sheet, cut side facing down, in the oven at 400 degrees for about 45 minutes. This was a large pumpkin.
If there are a lot of seeds in the pumpkin then I will put them on another parchment lined baking sheet and bake them for 15-20 minutes while I am cooking the pumpkin.
If you find it’s still too hard then just keep it in the oven until it is very soft (when you squeeze it). Let it cool for 15-20 minutes before peeling. Scoop out the flesh to use. I use leftover pumpkin for pancakes or baking sweets (see my pumpkin spice pancake recipe), if you are looking for more pumpkin recipes send me a comment. Happy to hear from you!
LOVE fresh roasted pumpkin!
For the Pasta: Boil a large pot of water for the pasta. When the water is at a rapid boil add a few tablespoons of kosher salt, then add the pasta, stir often to prevent sticking. Cook for 6-8 minutes. Do not rinse under cold water as directed on the box! This will prevent all that yummy sauce from sticking to your pasta. You don’t want pasta that separates from your sauce! Yikes!
Meanwhile while your pasta is cooking, set a medium saucepan over medium-high heat, add oil and coconut oil, add onion, saute until soft and opaque.
One to two minutes. Add coconut milk, pumpkin, 1 1/2 teaspoons kosher salt, black pepper, and nutmeg.
Whisk vigorously or use a hand held immersion blender to blend until smooth (I use an immersion blender to make things easier and all the ingredients blend so well together- you can buy one at Bed Bath Beyond or online), cook for 4-5 minutes.
Then add maple syrup and Daiya cheese, stir until smooth. Take off the heat.
Pasta should be done by this step. Drain the pasta in a colander then transfer the pasta back into the big pot.
Add the alfredo sauce to the pasta and stir to coat all the pasta well.
Serve hot in pasta bowls, garnish with chopped parsley.
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