creamy penne pasta with pumpkin mushroom sauce creamy penne pasta with pumpkin mushroom sauce Israeli Kitchen You don't need milk or cream to achieve this creamy sauce. (Photo: Sarah F. Berkowitz)

Creamy pumpkin mushroom penne

Comfort food gets a new flavor with pumpkin and a creamy mushroom garlic sauce.

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  • Yield: Serves 6
  • Prep time: 20 minutes
  • Cook time: 25 minutes

Before any of us moms knew any better, we served mac ‘n’ cheese to our kids on an almost daily basis. As adults, it’s still a favorite comfort food. But with the growing number of vegans, and the knowledge that too much cheese doesn’t do a body good, it’s time to find alternatives. They’ve got to be delicious, and offer up plenty of creamy, savory sauce to drown that pasta in.

This recipe does all that, and provides many additional nutrients. Pumpkin is rich in vitamins A and C, mushrooms offer vitamins and minerals. The garlic – aside from adding a wonderful savory bite – offers cancer fighting and heart strengthening properties. (For best results, allow minced garlic to sit for 30-45 minutes to release allicin – the healthy compound.)

Ingredients

  • 1 pound penne pasta
  • 1/2 cup reserved pasta water
  • 2 cups pumpkin puree
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk or soymilk
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • 4 cups mixed gourmet mushrooms
  • 5 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • Olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 2-3 thyme sprigs

Directions

Cook pasta according to package directions for al dente pasta. Reserve approximately one cup of pasta water, and drain the rest. Toss pasta with a drizzle of olive oil and salt and set aside.

Meanwhile, melt butter in a deep frying pan or medium pot over medium heat. Saute garlic and mushrooms until soft and aromatic.

Add canned pumpkin, coconut milk, and half of the reserved pasta water to the sauteed mushrooms. Stir, and season with salt, pepper, and thyme.

Add pasta and stir to coat. Taste, and add more seasonings if needed.

Related Topics: Vegetarian

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