Penne in Roast Pumpkin Sauce / Rigatoni Con La Zucca (Vegan Modifiable)
Updated: Apr 26, 2020
Here in Melbourne we are right in the middle of autumn , my favourite season ever since I was a little girl .
I am not sure whether it is the crunch of crisp leaves below each step or the explosion of crimson , amber and gold foliage in Victoria's leafy towns, historic parks and tree-fringed avenues.
But one thing is for sure , it's the season when time seems to slow right down, just like everything in nature. In Australia, pumkins are in season from autumn to winter (although some varieties, like e.g. Queensland Blue Pumpkins) are grown all year round.
This gorgeous pumpkin pasta sauce is lusciously velvet-like and laced with savoury spices . The best part is that its vegan modified counterpart is just as outstanding , and non-vegans will not notice any difference.
Ingredients : 2 x cups dry rigatoni pasta 1 x pumpkin wedge around 400g [1/6th of a whole pumpkin] 2 x large garlic cloves sliced thin 1 x tbs olive oil 2 x tsp brown soft sugar 1/2 x a chicken stock cube [vegan stock cube] 1 x tbs cashew nuts [or 1/4 cup single cream if allergic to nuts] Pinch of salt and pepper 1 x Tbs Dried or fresh fine chopped parsley Pinch of sweet paprika
Preheat oven 180 deg & line a baking tray with parchment paper.
Cut 25% of the pumpkin wedge into tiny cubes 1/2 cm wide , cut remaining 75% pumpkin wedge into large cubes of roughly 1 inch x 1 inch . Place the pumpkin in a bowl & coat liberally in a mixture of olive oil + pinch of brown sugar . Roast pumpkin 20 minutes 180 degrees then remove the tray and add the sliced garlic cloves - toss to combine and cook for a further 5 mins until the pumpkin is soft & light brown. Once the pumpkin is ready - boil the pasta in salted water until al dente around 10-12 mins. Whilst boiling pasta , blend the baked garlic pumpkin mix with 1 tbs cashew & 1/2 cup pasta starchy water until thick and smooth. Let the mixture cool before you blend it or the lid can come off and you will have a big mess ! In a saucepan , pour the blended pumpkin mix in and stir slowly once it’s heated , add 1/2 cup pasta water , chicken stock power , pepper (and salt if needed) Mix consistently until it reaches the right thickness - add dried or fine chopped fresh parsley, pinch of sweet paprika , stir. Add the pasta into the sauce and stir gently to combine. If the sauce is too thick , add some more pasta water 1/4 cup at a time and stir .
Taste seasoning of the sauce and serve with the tiny cubes of pumpkin sprinkled on top.
I used kent pumpkin , but you can use butternut or whatever other type you have
Check the pumpkin & garlic carefully whilst they are in the oven you do not want them to burn and get an acrid taste.
Do not overcook the pasta or it will break when introduced to the hot pumpkin sauce
If you are allergic to nuts then omit them from the blending process and pour 1/4 cup single cream into the puree mixture after you add the parsley and paprika.