In need of some carbs … good carbs? You’ve found the right recipe! It’s no fettuccine Alfredo; it’s better! You’ll get bonus velvetiness and a boost of color from a mixture of pumpkin puree and vegetable broth. You’ll also love the garlicky accent, crunchy pine nuts, and aromatic fresh basil leaves in this inspired “Alfredo” dish. Pick your favorite pasta shape. Altogether, it’s really, really comforting!
Creamy Pumpkin Alfredo [Vegan]
- 10 ounces dry whole grain pasta of choice
- 2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil
- 4 large garlic cloves, minced
- 3/4 cup canned, unsalted, organic pure pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup low-sodium vegetable broth
- 3/4 teaspoon sea salt
- 3 ounces soft vegan cheese
- 1 1/2 teaspoons white balsamic vinegar
- 1/4 cup pan-toasted pine nuts or roasted pumpkin seeds
- 1/2 cup fresh basil leaves
- Cook the pasta in salted water according to package directions. (Or, to save energy, “lid-cook” the pasta: Bring the pot of water to a boil, stir in the pasta, return to a boil, cover with a lid, and turn off the heat [if gas burner] or remove from heat [if electric burner], and let stand for the exact cooking time suggested on the package.). Drain the pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking liquid.
- In a large, deep skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the garlic and cook while stirring until fragrant, about 1 1/2 minutes. Add the pumpkin puree, vegetable broth, and salt and cook while stirring until a slightly thickened sauce forms, about 4 minutes. (Hint: If you’re a big fan of pumpkin, you can add extra pumpkin puree into the recipe, if you like.) Add the vegan cheese and stir until creamy, about 30 seconds.
- Add the pasta to the creamy pumpkin sauce along with 1/2 cup of the reserved pasta cooking liquid and the vinegar. Toss or stir to combine. If desired, add additional pasta cooking liquid for a saucier consistency. Adjust seasoning.
- Transfer to bowls, sprinkle with the pine nuts and basil, and serve.
For extra protein, choose a pulse-based pasta, like red lentil or chickpea pasta. Go with a high-flavored creamy vegan cheese, such as an herb-garlic French-style soft treenut (cashew) cheese.