Creamy and saucy middle, crispy top. Everything you want a pasta bake to be. It's also packed with flavour and some hidden protein. Need we say more?
1 medium sized pumpkin or butternut squash (around 1kg), peeled and sliced
5 cloves garlic, peeled
1 tbsp olive oil
½ tsp salt
200g cannellini beans, or any other white bean (around ½ tin)
4 tbsp nutritional yeast
1 tsp white miso
1 tsp mustard
½ tsp white pepper
½ lemon, juiced
600-650 ml oat milk (or any other plant based milk)
2 tbsp vegan butter or coconut oil
8-10 sage leaves
350g conchiglie (pasta shells), cooked
60g toasted almond flakes
30 g toasted sunflower seeds
½ tsp salt
2 tbsp nutritional yeast
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
Heat your oven to 180˚C. Spread the pumpkin/butternut squash on a large baking tray and toss in 1 tbsp olive oil and ½ tsp salt. Roast for 35-40 minutes, until soft and starting to caramelise around the edges.
While the pumpkin roasts, prepare everything else. Cook the pasta shells according to the package instructions, then drain and transfer back to pan.
Next fry the sage leaves. Heat up the butter/coconut oil in a small saucepan, and add the sage leaves. Fry for 2-3 minutes on medium heat until fragrant and starting to crisp up. Remove from heat.
Now make the cheesy crumb, by combining almond flakes, sunflower seeds, salt, nutritional yeast and cayenne pepper in a blender/food processor. Mix for 2-3 minutes, until all of the nuts/seeds have broken down.
Back to the sauce! Transfer the roasted pumpkin and garlic to a blender, along with the cannellini beans, nutritional yeast, white miso, mustard, white pepper, lemon juice and oat milk. Blend on high for 2-3 minutes, until velvety. Taste for salt/acidity and adjust to taste.
Add the sauce to the pan with the cooked pasta, and stir thoroughly for a couple of minutes, until the sauce is evenly distributed. Transfer the saucy pasta to a deep baking dish, top with the sage leaves and sprinkle evenly with the crumb. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden and crisp.
Valentina is our Food Creative, who dreams up our tasty dishes and recipes for our social channels. She has loads of experience cooking up a storm in Italian kitchens, so it’s no surprise she can’t live without good-quality olive oil (don’t come between her and her olive oil) and fresh pasta.