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Delicious Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce

Sharon Muse

Halloween may be over, but pumpkin season is just getting started. We know there are loads of "pumpkin spiced" foods out there this time of year but we aren't talking about that nor are we talking about the large kind that you carve into Jack-O-Lanterns. We are talking about the puree from these adorable little ones that are called Sugar Pumpkins. These are the kind that you roast to make pumpkin pie.

You can certainly roast your own pumpkin puree or simply used canned puree. If you want to roast your own here is a great tutorial. If you choose to go the canned route (we do it lots of times too) look for a brand that the only has one ingredient: pumpkin!!  There are some brands that make a pumpkin pix mixture, so make sure you don't use that one since it is loaded with other ingredients that you don't want. Despite whether you roast a pumpkin to make pumpkin puree or simply buy canned pumpkin puree from the store, it has many health benefits! 

Pumpkin puree has over twice the daily recommended amount of Vitamin A. It actually starts out as the antioxidant beta-carotene and the body converts it into Vitamin A. Vitamin A is a fat-soluble vitamin that plays a critical role in maintaining healthy vision, neurological function, healthy skin and more.

Pumpkin puree also boasts a decent amount of fiber which most of us need more of. Fiber slows down the digestion of food and keeps our blood sugar in balance. Pumpkin also contains tryptophan which is an amino acid that helps you sleep better. It also has a nice amount of Vitamin C and E.

So you can see why we love pumpkin and used it in this delicious pasta dish.

Servings: 2

Ingredients:

Sauce:

1/4 cup cashews soaked in water at least 3 hours to overnight

1/4 cup nutritional yeast

1/4 cup vegetable broth

1 cup pumpkin puree

1/4 tsp. pumpkin spice

Pasta:

1 T avocado oil

2 cloves chopped garlic

1/4 cup chopped red onion

1.5 cups finely chopped kale

2 vegan Italian sausage links (we used Field Roast Sausage or meat eaters can always use ground turkey)

8 oz. gluten-free or chickpea pasta

Instructions:

1.) Drain cashews and combine all of the sauce ingredients in a blender or food processor until smooth and creamy. Salt and pepper to taste.

2.) Bring a large pot filled with water to a rolling boil.

3.) While watering is boiling, in a large sauté pan heat the avocado oil. Add onions and cook until they are translucent. Add garlic and stir about 30 seconds, then add in kale and sausage of choice. Stir frequently so garlic doesn't burn and until kale has wilted and sausage is heated through.

4.) Cook pasta according to the directions on the box. We have noticed that each type of pasta has different cooking times so it is best to follow the directions. Reserve 1/2 a cup of water from the pasta and then drain. Once drained, return to the pot and toss in sausage and kale mixture and the reserved 1/2 cup of pasta water. Fold in the Pumpkin Sauce and return to the stove to just heat everything. Salt and pepper to taste and enjoy!