12 ounces dried gluten-free penne
2 tablespoons olive oil
1 large sweet onion, cut into thirds and thinly sliced
3 large cloves garlic, pressed or minced
1 shallot, minced
2 cups water
1 (15-ounce) can pureed pumpkin (not pumpkin pie mix)
1/2 cup raw unsalted cashews, soaked
4 tablespoons nutritional yeast flakes
1 1/2 teaspoons Better Than Bouillon No Chicken Base
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
Salt and freshly ground black pepper, to taste
- In a large pot of lightly salted boiling water, add the pasta and cook according to package directions until al dente. Don’t overcook the pasta, especially if you’re using one that is gluten-free. Drain the pasta well and transfer to a large bowl. Set aside.
- While the pasta is cooking, prepare the sauce. In a large cast-iron skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat and sauté the onion, and shallot until soft. Add the garlic and cook a few more minutes until the onions are lightly brown. Remove from the heat.
- In a blender, combine half of the cooked onion mixture, water, pumpkin, cashews, nutritional yeast, bouillon, salt, sage and nutmeg. Blend until the mixture is super-smooth and velvety, and no traces of nuts remain.
- Add the pumpkin sauce to the reserved cooked onions in the skillet, giving it a good stir. Heat over medium heat, until sauce is hot. Toss with hot pasta, add salt and pepper to taste and serve.
Tip: If you’re using a high-speed blender like a VitaMix, you can skip the soaking step for the cashews, and just use them dry.
Variation: Sauté a sliced vegan bratwurst or two, and toss with the sauce and pasta.
Keywords: gluten-free, vegan, pumpkin