This creamy pumpkin pasta sauce is delicious, hearty, and makes a perfect vegan meal. Moreover, it freezes well so make a big batch over the weekend and make it into a quick weekday meal with just some pasta.
Fall is over and winter is saying Hello, but I am still not over Pumpkin! I get sad that I can no longer really order a pumpkin-spice latte (not that it has any pumpkin in it but just for the name :-p) or that the pumpkin muffins and pumpkin bread are already replaced with the regular banana bread in most cafes. (Don’t get me wrong, I love banana bread but it is like all-season, all-year-round! Pumpkin bread just sounds the beginning of festivities). But well there is still pumpkin in the vegetable market and we are still totally enjoying it at home!
When I bought the pumpkin last week, my idea was to have roast pumpkin as a side to regular pasta. I had seen a picture of roasted pumpkin with spaghetti and the picture had stayed for so long that I just had to try it. But while I was roasting pumpkin in the oven and making the pasta sauce in the pot, I thought, how about I add the pumpkin to the pasta sauce? And lo and behold, our kitchen now offers a creamy vegan pumpkin pasta sauce dinner!
I absolutely loved it and how it beautifully coats the pasta. The creaminess of this sauce comes from the roasted pumpkin. Roasted pumpkin, when pureed along with the rest of the ingredients, makes the sauce naturally thick and creamy. For lack of a better word, I would say this vegan pumpkin pasta sauce is a very “meaty” sauce and goes equally great with long pasta like spaghetti, tagliatelle, and fettuccini and short pasta like penne, fusilli, and mini shells.
I cooked conchiglie or mini shell pasta and it was an absolute delight to have in every bite the shells filled with this delicious pasta sauce. This sauce is full of veggie goodness and for my lunch, I did not need anything other than just a bowl of this pasta with it but for dinner, a side of sautéed mushrooms or roasted vegetables might be a great idea.
In case you have picky eaters, this pumpkin pasta sauce is also a great recipe to “hide” the pumpkin in a delicious way. Also, while this sauce recipe is from scratch, if you are short on time, use pumpkin purée. It will save time on preparing and roasting the fresh pumpkin.
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta Sauce – Vegan & GF
Ingredients (1cup = 240ml; 1tbsp = 15ml; 1tsp = 5ml)
- 2 cups pumpkin chopped
- 4 tbsp Olive oil divided (2+2)
- Salt to taste
- Freshly ground pepper to taste
- 2 small onions
- 1-2 cloves garlic
- 3 spring onions
- 2 tomatoes puréed
- 3-4 fresh basil leaves
- Green chili to taste
- 2 tbsp vegan basil pesto
- 2 cups Pasta for your choice
- Roast Pumpkin: Place pumpkin pieces into a bowl, drizzle with 2 tbsp olive oil, and add salt and pepper. Coat well and spread on a baking tray. Broil for about 15 minutes. Turn the pumpkin at about 7-8 mins.
- Prepare the vegetables: Peel and chop the onions, chili, and garlic. Slice the spring onion, separating the whites from green and purée the tomatoes.
- For the Pasta: Bring a medium pot of salted water to boil. Once the water is boiling, add pasta to the pot. Cook, stirring occasionally until al-dente. Check the pasta package but most kinds of pasta will usually take 8-10 minutes. Drain and reserve 1 cup of pasta cooking water for the sauce.
- For the sauce: Place a deep pot on medium heat and add olive oil. Once the oil is hot, add garlic, chili, onion, and spring onion whites. Sprinkle some salt and cook until just softened.
- Add the tomato purée, mix well and cook covered for 5-6 minutes.
- Remove the roasted pumpkin from the oven and add then to the saucepot. Also, add 1 cup of pasta water. Cook for a couple of minutes and then remove from heat. Blend using an immersion blender straight in the pot. Add more water if required and be very careful of splashes as the sauce is hot.
- Stir in fresh basil pesto. Taste and adjust seasoning.
- To serve: If eating right away, stir in the cooked pasta. Remove into plates and serve hot with some fresh basil.
- To freeze: store the sauce in a glass air-tight jar and freeze for up to a month.
- Nutritional Information is the approximate information for 1 of 2 servings of the pasta sauce only.
- While I have made this sauce from scratch, by using fresh pumpkin, if you are short on time, simply use pumpkin puree.
- A spoonful of fresh basil pesto totally lifts up this sauce. Alternatively, you can use Italian seasoning and dried basil.
- Add nutritional yeast for extra creaminess.
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