This pumpkin pasta sauce is delicious and as simple as recipes gets! I’m always blown away by the flavours of vegan penne pasta when this sauce is added with a few other ingredients. Just cook pasta and stir the sauce together.
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The first time I made this recipe it was just pasta with the pumpkin rosé sauce. Even though the sauce is made from pumpkin, I like to include even more vegetables and find broccoli is a great addition. You can use fresh or frozen broccoli, depending on what’s available. There’s just something about broccoli with a creamy sauce that is amazingly tasty!
I also include some chickpeas in this recipe. Chickpeas are one of my favourite legumes and are a simple, tasty way to add extra plant-based protein, fibre and other essential nutrients. It only takes an extra minute to open, drain and rinse a can of chickpeas which is definitely worth it!
Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Coconut Milk: The Inspiration
The first time I mixed pumpkin and coconut milk together I wanted to make a vegan pumpkin pie. After adding lots of maple syrup and a few other ingredients I ended up with a tasty pie. However, I tasted the pumpkin and coconut milk together and thought it could make for a delicious savoury sauce.
So, I mixed these two ingredients again with sautéed garlic and salt, eh voila! A delicious, rich and creamy vegan pumpkin pasta sauce was born.
I know these ingredients can sound odd together, but it works. My family (who tested it without knowing the ingredients) was blown away by the taste. My mom was convinced it contains dairy, either some type of milk or cheese. Interestingly enough, both of these tastes are brought together from the coconut milk and pumpkin sauce base.
What Type of Coconut Milk to Use for Vegan Pumpkin Sauce
The recipe’s rich and creamy flavour is provided by coconut milk. I recommend using a regular full-fat canned coconut milk instead of lower fat varieties. Less fat content creates a thinner sauce, and since there’s less fat, there’s less flavour and creamy goodness!
Canned coconut milk is also creamier compared to the coconut milk in cartons. Coconut milk sold in cartons is intended for drinking whereas canned coconut milk is typically intended for cooking/ baking.
Lastly, I always recommend reading the ingredients on canned coconut milk. Look for ones where there are only two ingredients: coconut and water. Many brands add ingredients that aren’t necessary. Also, if you’re vegan, beware of powdered coconut milk products as these often contain milk ingredients.
Pumpkin Creates a Savoury Vegan Sauce Perfect for Penne
In the fall many people become excited about pumpkin recipes. Pumpkin is often associated with desserts or sweet recipes, but it’s also excellent in many savoury recipes.
Pumpkin is high in fibre and beta carotene (vitamin A) along with vitamin C, magnesium, potassium, iron and vitamin K. It’s a great addition to increase the nutritional value of meals. Check out some other pumpkin recipes from Lettuce Veg Out!
Pumpkin provides sweetness when it’s cooked, which is why it makes for delicious desserts. That sweetness can also be great when added to savoury meals to balance salt, spice, acid and heat. Many traditional recipes use added sugar to enhance flavours, but you can add natural sugar from fruits or vegetables like pumpkin!
Adding Salt to Taste in Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
This rose pumpkin pasta sauce recipe uses 1 teaspoon of salt, or more to taste. Salt is needed to get a rich and creamy flavour that mimics a dairy-based sauce. If you typically consume cheese, your taste buds are likely accustomed to higher levels of salt (cheese is very salty, as are many dairy based sauces). I don’t usually measure salt and just go by taste; this is just a recommendation for how much I put in to get the right flavour.
You can always speak to your doctor or dietitian about your salt intake (and sodium requirements) because recommendations vary by individual. If you need to reduce the amount of salt in your diet, your taste buds will adjust over time.
Let me know how much you enjoy this recipe. It’s great served with some cracked black pepper on top, or hot sauce if you like things spicy!
Vegan Pumpkin Rose Penne
- Large pot
- Cutting boars
- Can Opener
- Cook the penne according to package directions.
- Steam the broccoli florets.
- Finely mince the garlic. Add it to a pan over medium-low heat with the oil. Cook for 2 minutes.
- Stir in the pumpkin, coconut milk, salt, pepper and onion powder.
- Cook for 3-4 minutes to let the flavours combine.
- Stir in the pasta, chickpeas and broccoli. Taste and adjust the seasoning if needed.