This Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo Pasta is an incredibly easy dinner that feels warm, comforting and delicious. The roasted garlic and crispy sage provide incredible sweet and savory notes.
Continuing our theme of comfort food from last week, this pasta is one of my favorite winter dinners. I’m not one of those people who likes pumpkin in absolutely everything (in my coffee! in my oatmeal! falling off my face in chunks as I try to make a homemade seasonal face mask that Cosmo promises me will make my man fall in love!), I am a fan of a judiciously used seasonal squash. There’s little you can do to pasta that will make me not like it, but this sauce takes it to the next level – the roasted garlic give it this incredibly balanced sweet and savory backbone, while the cashews add an unbelievable (totally dairy-free) creaminess. The pumpkin serves as more of an accent than anything else; a sexy partner for the nutmeg and sage to tango with.
Because, you know, you’re on Sprouted Routes (you: WHAT? I’M NOT ON MOREBUTTERFORMAHBELLY.COM??), you may have already guessed that this pasta is healthy. At risk of getting too real, when I first got my cat (Hi Bella! Mommy loves you!), she’d been sleeping in a dumpster for a week, eating her way through the plastics and other unsavory bits that she found in there. Once the humane society cleaned her off, she slipped far too easily into the princess life to which she’s now become accustomed, with one problem: all that plastic had made her unable to go. No problem, the vet said when we brought in our poor, stuffed up creature, feed that kitten some pumpkin! Apparently, the high fiber and easy digestibility of pumpkin is many a vet’s weapon of choice for animals with poor stomach health, and it’s not a bad choice for humans either. It’ll help clean you out, while making your skin glow (yay, Vitamin A!). Copper-rich cashews have loads of moisturizing, heart-healthy fatty acids and roasted garlic – well, it loses many of it’s healthy properties in the heat of the oven, but it’s gosh darn delicious, and it’s not like it’s bad for you.
Real talk: it’s been a weird week. I’ve been avoiding social media for the most part, because it only stokes my anxiety about the uncertainty of the future. I wish desperately future Liz would stop by my Brooklyn apartment, sit down on the edge of my bed like my dad when he used to read me bedtime stories, and tell me that in her future, everything was okay. At the same time that I’m roiling with anxiety about the future, I’ve gotten some of the best news of my adult life (which I’ll share with you soon!). I also find myself really appreciating all the little, amazing things that fill up my day: my incredible coworkers, my super funny, wonderful friends, my cute (no longer constipated!) cat, Zack, funny TV shows…but still, that uncertainty looms. Do you guys have any good tips for dealing with uncertainty, and the anxiety that stubbornly drags in its wake?
Let me know! In the meantime, I’ll be handling the best way I know how, cozied up to a big ol’ bowl of pasta.
- 1 head raw garlic
- 2 tablespoons high heat oil of choice (avocado is my favorite; ghee and coconut also work fine)
- ½ cup raw cashews, soaked for 2 – 3 hours
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ¼ tsp sea salt
- 8 oz pasta of choice (this brand is my favorite gluten free option)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- ¼ cup pepitas
- Leaves from 1 small bunch of sage
- Fresh ground black pepper
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Chop off top 1/2″ inch of garlic head, then drizzle with 1 tablespoon oil and wrap in foil (if you don’t like foil touching your food, do a layer of parchment first). Place on a cookie sheet to catch any drips, then stick in oven for 40 min – 1 hour, or until it can be easily squeezed with a (potholdered) hand.
- Blend garlic with pumpkin puree, soaked cashews, vegetable broth and sea salt; set aside.
- Heat remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan over medium heat; add sage and sizzle until crispy and fragrant, about 1 – 2 minutes. Remove sage and add pepitas to pan, continue to heat on medium until they’re golden brown, about 4 – 5 minutes.
- Cook pasta according to package instructions. Toss pumpkin sauce with pasta; add olive oil and continue to toss. Garnish with sage, pepitas and a generous amount of fresh ground pepper and serve. Serves 4.