It is the time of year where pumpkin reigns supreme as the go-to comfort. After traveling all weekend, I was in the mood for some comfort food for dinner and since I had pumpkin on the brain, (hmmm because maybe a group of us bloggers might be having a little MOFO pumpkin challenge later in the week, hmmm), I had to put some in this dish.
I was craving a cheesy pasta dish like baked rigatoni. Having no rigatoni, but a box of rotini, I went to work. The recipe is delicious, although I might try a different type of "sausage" next time or dare to make my own. Vegan tested, vegan husband approved.
Pumpkin Sage Baked Rotini with Italian Style Sausage
(Note: I put cooked pasta in my ingredients list so make sure you cook the pasta before or while making the sauce. There is nothing worse than not reading a recipe through first and then realizing too late you missed a crucial step. I speak only from experience. Heed the Carrot Top warning. )
1 Tsp Olive Oil
2 Vegan Italian Style Sausages, sliced 1/4" thick (I used Tofurky but you can use any brand you prefer)
1 Large Onion, diced
4 Cloves Garlic, minced
1 Tsp Red Pepper Flakes
11/4 Cups Vegetable Stock
2 Tsp Fresh Sage, chopped
2 Tsp Salt
1 Tbsp Italian Seasoning
1/3 Cup Tofutti Cream Cheese
1/4 Cup Almond Milk or any non-dairy milk
2 Tsp Nutritional Yeast
2 Cups Pumpkin Puree
1 pound Rotini, cooked according to package directions
2 Tbsp ParmaVegan Parmesan, ( or any vegan parmesan you prefer)
1. Preheat oven to 375 deg F.
2. Put Tofutti Cream Cheese, Almond Milk, and Nutritional yeast in a blender and process until smooth and creamy. Leave aside.
3. Heat oil in pan over medium heat, cook sausage until it is browned. About 10 minutes, stirring occasionally to cook evenly. Remove from pan onto a plate and cover.
4. Add onion to pan and cook till translucent, (3 mins). Add garlic and red pepper flakes and cook another minute.
5. Stir in stock, pumpkin, sage, salt, and italian seasoning. Bring to a boil then lower heat to LO and simmer for about 5 minutes, stirring to blend well.
6. Add cream cheese mixutre, stirring constantly until well blended. Add sausage. Simmer for another 5 minutes.
7. Mix pasta and sauce togther until well blended. Put in a 9x13 pan (any 3 quart size baking pan will do) and top with Parma or vegan parmesan cheese.
8. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 30 minutes. Take out and serve.
Pinot Noir or Shiraz
We had ours with Williamsburg Winery Claret and it was a bit too sweet for this savory dish that has a kick from the red pepper flakes.
A Perfect Dinner Of Comfort Food...
And here are some more Williamsburg Photos, just in case you were on the fence about making the trip there. Seriously, it is such a wonderful place to visit. Especially all the kitchens. Ok I am a little odd, but I have a thing for kitchens.
Ok this is NOT vegan food, but the word vegan wouldn't exist for another 200 years from this point.