CREAMY PUMPKIN PASTA (WITH SAGE WALNUTS)
- olive oil
- ½ cup chopped raw walnuts
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage
- sea salt
- 1 large shallot – diced
- 4 garlic cloves – minced
- ¼ teaspoon smoked paprika
- pinch chili flakes, or to taste
- 15 oz (425 g) can unsweetened pumpkin puree
- freshly ground black pepper
- 1 teaspoon tamari or coconut aminos
- ½ cup unsweetened dairy-free creamer or cashew cream (see note)
- juice from 1 lemon
- 12 oz rigatoni or other pasta of choice
- Heat a large pan or pot over medium heat, add enough oil to generously coat the bottom. Add the walnuts, sage, and a generous pinch of salt. Toast, stirring frequently, for 5 minutes, until the walnuts are golden and the sage is crispy. Transfer the walnuts, sage, and their oil to a small bowl and set aside. Wipe the pot/pan if needed.
- Add more oil to coat the bottom of the same pot/pan. Add the shallot and a pinch of salt, saute until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, and chili flakes, and stir around for 30 more seconds, until fragrant. Add the pumpkin puree, plenty of black pepper, another generous pinch of salt, tamari, and creamer/cashew cream. Taste for salt and adjust if needed. Stir to combine and let the sauce warm through. Turn off the heat and mix in the lemon juice.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water, according to the instructions on the package. Reserve about ½ cup of the starchy pasta cooking water. Drain the pasta and add it to the pot/pan with the pumpkin sauce. Stir to coat the pasta in the sauce, adding small splashes of the reserved starchy water, if the sauce needs help sticking to the pasta or if it needs thinning. Serve the pasta right away, topped with the sage walnuts and their oil.