Squash is one of the most versatile of foods to cook with. And although there are many ways to enjoy this family of vegetables, I can’t deny the fact that pasta is definitely at the top of the favourites list. Nobody complains when pasta is placed on the dinner table. There's no fighting, no food throwing, and no whining. Just the beautiful sound of your family eating and enjoying their meal. Now here's the thing-we can have our pasta and eat it too...and on the regular. There are thousands of ways to make a pasta dish more hearty and healthy than the average bowl of KD. Read on.
I served this recipe up to my squad without telling them a single thing I did to "Nuttify" it. And to my pure joy and amazement, they loved it. It was rich, creamy, flavorful, and made with good wholesome ingredients. Once I had succeeded, I then proceeded to explain to my husband what he was actually eating and why it was so awesome. He's really cute because he pretends to care.
I excitedly explained that it was a complete plant-based recipe. There was no dairy contributing to this dream of creaminess. The simple and comforting dish was enriched with healthy fats and protein provided by the cashews and the hemp hearts. The pumpkin provides us with plenty of fibre and gives the pasta a hint of natural sweetness that is surprisingly exquisite on the tongue.
If you and/or your family do not do dairy for whatever reason or if you are just looking for something different, I definitely recommend trying out this dish. I kept it super simple. Of course, if your child/ren are not extremely picky eaters-load up on extra vegetables. Roasted broccoli, green peas, caramelized onions and/or mushrooms, and chopped leafy greens are all great add-in suggestions. However fear not, this recipe as is counts as a completely nutritionally balanced meal-I made sure of it. This is to be served 100% guilt-free!
- 12 oz. your favorite pasta
- 1 Tbsp. butter or cooking oil
- 2 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 cup onion, chopped
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup vegetable broth
- ½ Tsp. Paprika
- ½ Tsp. Chili powder
- ¼ Tsp. Black pepper
- ¼ Tsp. Sea salt
- Pinch of nutmeg
- ¼ cup soaked raw cashews
- 3 Tbsp. Hemp Hearts
- Reserved pasta water to thin sauce if needed (I added 3 Tbsp.)
- Cook your pasta according to package directions.
- Melt the butter or oil in a skillet over medium heat.
- Add the garlic and onion and cook for a couple of minutes.
- Add the pumpkin puree and broth to the skillet and stir to combine.
- Add the paprika, chili powder, nutmeg, sea salt, and black pepper.
- Stir everything together and let cook over medium heat for about 10 minutes or so.
- Transfer the sauce mixture to a high powered blender for best results. Add the cashews and hemp hearts and blend until thoroughly combined. Add reserved pasta water if needed.
- Fold the sauce and cooked pasta together and garnish however you desire.