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Pumpkin Pasta Bake with Kale

 

 

 

 

Let’s talk pasta!

 

One thing I love about meal prep, is using pasta! Pasta gets a bad reputation for being just laden with carbs and lacking in nutrients. However, that can’t be further from the truth. It’s actually the perfect medium to get more veggies on your plate and you can even utilize healthier sauces and pasta varieties. If you’re not about white pasta, you can always mix it up with healthier alternatives. Today, there are endless options!

Bonus, it terms of leftover, it’s still good the next day!

One of my favorite classic dishes, is Pumpkin pasta! My first recipe in a culinary course at NYU was actually homemade Pumpkin Raviolis! If you can’t picture pumpkin making a great filling or pasta sauce, think again! It’s so good and they actually go seamlessly together! Since I had explored raviolis and even a pasta dish years ago, I wanted to give the whole pasta bake concept a go!

Pasta bakes are typically made with heavy cream and paired with chicken, but you can easily skip the dairy and pack on some plant protein to make for a more filling dish. Even bigger bonus, you can use whatever cheese you like. You can opt for vegan ricotta or traditional.

So why a pasta bake? Honestly, I never saw the appeal in a pasta bake and wondered what all the fuss was about. Typically if you’re making a vegan sauce it can easily dry out. So if you don’t have the right consistency and throw it in an oven, you won’t be left with much. The key is to achieve the perfect texture! With this recipe we added pasta water rather than broth and you actually impart more flavor than broth! If you’ve tossed yours already, you can also throw in some veggie broth!

 

 


 

What’s fab about this dish? Honestly, everything. It’s quick, easy, has minimal ingredients, it features a full can of pumpkin puree, its flavor packed, creamy, dreamy, filling, veggie packed, it can easily be made in bulk (meal prep), affordable, ingredients are accessible, the sauce is thrown in a blender, it’s not made with heavy cream, it features fresh herbs and tons of kale, it has notes of garlic and cinnamon, the sauce has plant protein, the sauce can be paired with countless other dishes, you can mix up the pasta, its great for entertaining, the dish is non vegan approved, you can easily make it in bulk, you can use vegan cheese on top or traditional if preferred, and it’s just an all around game changing effortless recipe you have to try!

 


 

If you love a fab fall pasta dish that you can enjoy for years to come, you have to try this Pumpkin Pasta Bake!

 

 

 

 

Why this recipe is great: 

 

Quick

Easy

Nutrient packed

Packs protein 

Minimal ingredients

Made without heavy cream

Affordable

Sauce made in blender 

Perfect for fall 

Can be made fully vegan

 

 

 

 

Print
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Pumpkin Pasta Bake with Kale


  • Author: Gabrielle
  • Total Time: 35 mins
  • Yield: 6 Servings 1x

Ingredients

Units Scale

Pasta dish: 

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 1 bunch kale, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh thyme
  • 1 tbsp fresh rosemary
  • 1 1/2 cups mixed parm shreds or vegan parm
  • 1 box of pasta shells
  • 1/2 cup ricotta or vegan ricotta

Sauce: 

 


Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil then cook the pasta until almost al dente (approximately 10 minutes). The pasta will continue cooking in the oven. Save 2 cups of pasta water. Drizzle with olive oil to prevent sticking.
  2. Soak cashews in boiling water, set aside.
  3. Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
  4. To a pan over medium heat, add olive oil and garlic. Saute for 2 mins until slightly golden. Add the chopped kale (stems removed) and cook for an additional 2 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and set aside.
  5. Add the soaked cashews and 1 cup of pasta water to a high power blender. Blend until smooth. Once smooth add the remaining ingredients. Adjust the flavor as desired. Add additional broth if needed to thin the texture.
  6. Transfer the cooked pasta to a baking dish and top with pumpkin sauce, thyme, rosemary, salted kale and cheeses of choice.
  7. Place in the oven until golden brown and bubbling. Remove from the oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving. If you’re not getting those burn marks set your oven to broil and leave oven door ajar and bake for a few more minutes, but keep an eye on it! Garnish with additional herbs if desired.
  • Prep Time: 15 mins
  • Cook Time: 20 mins

 

 

  

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2 Comments

  1. What size is the box of pasta you’re using? I have a big bag and want to make sure I use the right amount! Thank you 🙂

    1. Gabrielle says:

      You should have about 6-8 cups of cooked pasta!

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