Entrees · Gluten-free · Holidays · plant based

MoFo Day 23: Pasta Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin

Picture

It’s not even October and I want Thanksgiving already.

     So, to celebrate the Autumnal Equinox, I’ve decided to go full throttle Halloween-Thanksgiving theme.  Not only is my dish black, orange and green, but it’s hearty and savory enough for a celebratory entree.  I’d love to serve this at Thanksgiving…what a departure from my normal formula of making a bunch of vegan side dishes.  I mean, I don’t mind making a meal out of salad, stuffing, potatoes and pie.  Not at all!

However, it is nice to sit down to a special and festive entree that will satisfy any stomach.  This pumpkin is just that.  Not only is it totally adorable and seasonally festive, it’s delicious and nutritious.  It adds wonderful soft and creamy texture to the toothsome pasta filling.  It’s quite wonderful, if I do say so.
I may have eaten an entire half by myself.

Maybe.  😉

     This pumpkin looks huge in my photo, but it wasn’t much larger than my hand (and I have small hands, I swear).  I would recommend a 3 pound pumpkin for this recipe.  It will serve 2-4 people.
Roasting the pumpkin was actually a breeze.  I cut my pumpkin in half length-wise like any other winter squash being used for stuffing, rather than cutting a hole in the top like you would for carving.  The pumpkin cooked in only a little over a half hour and was perfectly caramelized and fork tender. Mmmm!  ^_^
I decided to stuff my pumpkin with a sautee of shiitake mushrooms, garlic, shallots and baby spinach, all dressed simply in olive oil, salt and pepper.  Nothing too crazy here.  I didn’t want to overwhelm the delicate sweetness of the pumpkin.  Also, I decided to use black bean penne pasta because it has a gorgeous black color and it’s a great gluten-free and protein-rich product that I had never used before.  It cooked very well and didn’t disappoint in texture!
Oh, and for a toasty, crunchy treat, I topped it all with toasted sliced almonds.  Delicious.

Welcome, Fall.  It’s been  a year and I’ve missed you so!  ❤  (Please last longer this year before you give way to the bitter cold, plz & thnx.)

Pasta Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin

Yield: 2-4 servings (2 stuffed halves of the pumpkin)
Free of: Soy, Gluten, *Nuts, optional

Ingredients

  • 1 small sugar pumpkin (approx. 3 pounds), cut length-wise & seeded
  • 1/2 box of penne pasta of choice (or other pasta shape)
  • 3 cups baby spinach
  • 1 package mushrooms, sliced (I used shiitake)
  • 4 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 3 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 1/3 cup toasted sliced almonds, optional*
  • olive oil & coconut oil for roasting/sauteeing
  • salt & pepper, to taste
  • chili flakes, to taste


Instructions

Preheat oven 350 F.

  1. Brush the inside of your pumpkin with melted coconut oil/olive oil and season with salt.
  2. Place your pumpkin halves cut-side down on a baking sheet.
  3. Roast your pumpkin for 35 minutes.
  4. Remove from the oven and let cool while you prepare your filling.
  5. In a medium sauce pan, fill 3/4 of the way with water and add a generous pinch of salt.
  6. Bring the water to a boil.
  7. Add your pasta to the boiling water and stir.  Let boil until tender (mine took about 11 minutes).
  8. Drain and rinse your pasta and set aside.
  9. In a large sautee pan, heat 1 Tb of olive oil on medium-low.
  10. Add your garlic and shallots to the sautee pan and lower your heat to low, stirring occasionally until browned slightly and soft in texture, about 10-12 minutes.
  11. Deglaze your sautee pan with a little bit of water (or pasta water if you have any left).
  12. Add your mushrooms and 1 tsp of oil to the garlic and shallots and turn the heat up to medium.
  13. Stir your mushrooms and continue to sautee for about 3 minutes or until they are slightly softened and fragrant.
  14. Add your spinach to the pan.  Sautee to wilt the spinach for about another 3 minutes.  Do not over-cook or the spinach will become slimy. =(
  15. Add the cooked pasta to your vegetable mixture and stir to combine.
  16. Turn your heat off and add more oil if needed.
  17. Season your mixture with salt, pepper and chili flakes to taste.
  18. Plate your pumpkin half and fill each with desired amount of pasta filling.
  19. Garnish with some toasted almond slices, if desired.
  20. Dig in.  Share if you want to.  😉
  21. Savor Fall in all its glory.

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     Oh, and for dessert, I indulged in a tiny piece of chocolate heaven that I happened upon this afternoon.  It was a Fall miracle and I’m so happy I know about this wonderful company that makes amazing vegan chocolate.

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     Yes, that’s vegan rice milk chocolate surrounding pumpkin spice caramel on the inside.

You’re welcome. ;D

5 thoughts on “MoFo Day 23: Pasta Stuffed Sugar Pumpkin

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