Pumpkin Mac and Cheese

Today’s forecast: 100% chance of Parmesan showers.

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Are you looking for a creamy, comforting, plant-based meal that takes less than 30 minutes from start to finish? Search no further!

This vegan dish will be a new weeknight favorite. It tastes remarkably close to a traditional Alfredo but is packed with protein and nourishing vitamins.

It’s wonderful when a recipe comes together almost entirely in a blender. You probably already have a lot of these ingredients on hand. Crispy sage and charred walnuts are totally optional but really enhance the cozy pumpkin flavor. I stole that idea from the delectable ravioli at Girasole!

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Any kind of small pasta will work here, but I was curious to try something new; chickpea and red lentil piqued my interest. It’s a great option for my gluten-free pals or anyone looking for more protein.

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My brain does not want to register the first “a” in this title.

If you give this sauce a try, please tag @garlic_head on Instagram! I truly love seeing your creations.

Ingredients:

  • 1 box pasta of choice
  • Olive oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 5 minced garlic cloves
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 1 tsp turmeric (for color, optional)
  • 1/2 tsp cinnamon
  • 1 TBS tomato paste (optional)
  • 2 tsp fresh sage, chopped finely, plus additional leaves for topping
  • 1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
  • 1/3 cup nutritional yeast
  • 1/3 cup walnuts (optional)

Method:

  1. Boil a large pot of water and cook your pasta per package instructions. Drain and set aside.
  2. Add 1 TBS olive oil to a cast iron skillet over medium heat. Add onion and saute for 5 minutes, until golden. Add garlic and cook 1 minute more. Remove from heat and place in a food processor.
  3. Add paprika, turmeric, cinnamon, optional tomato paste, sage, almond milk, pumpkin, and nutritional yeast. Blend until all ingredients are incorporated and a smooth sauce forms.
  4. Pour sauce into a small pan over low heat and cook until desired thickness is reached. While this is happening, add 1 TBS olive oil to your skillet and toast walnuts and sage (over low heat) until slightly charred but not burnt.
  5. Ladle sauce over bowls of pasta and top with charred sage, walnuts, and vegan parm.

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