Fall Favorite – Pumpkin and Sage Pasta

Happy Friday! Today I have Amanda here from The Sunny Vegan sharing a tasty recipe. What I love about her pumpkin sage pasta is that it’s just like a pumpkin ravioli but made so much easier and much healthier than anything that you could get from the store or restaurant because it’s made fresh.

I first met Amanda through an incredible Facebook group that we belong to and from there started slowly stalking her blog because I love food and she takes some awesome food pics!

Amanda shares all sorts of delicious vegan recipes on her blog and you’ll love them… I know that I do. She is also a Certified Yoga Teacher and is pursuing Certification as a Fitness Nutritional Specialist and Holistic Life Coach. All that in addition to raising two beautiful little girls, Weimaraner and a cat.

After you read her blog check her out on Facebook, Twitter, and of course Pinterest too!

Think pumpkin is only for pie? Well think again!
Savory pumpkin recipes are a fun way to keep the flavors of autumn around throughout the holiday season. Pumpkin is low calorie and full of Vitamin A, C and K as well as iron, potassium and magnesium so adding more to your diet is certainly a good thing.
I ususally use whole wheat pasta but my daughter picked out the orecchiette because it reminded her of little pumpkins. It really held the sauce well which made me happy.

Pumpkin Sage Pasta

Fresh sage is so beautiful and flavorful, combining it with the slightly sweet pumpkin makes for a gorgeous, earthy and tasty sauce. So shake up your regular pasta routine and try this pumpkin and sage sauce. One of the best things I have ever made! ( and my daughter agreed )

Ingredients:  4-6 servings

1 pound pasta
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 small yellow onion – diced
3 cloves garlic – diced
1 15 ounce can organic pumpkin puree
2 cups plain almond milk
2 Tablespoons nutritional yeast  * optional
2 Tablespoons chopped fresh sage, plus more for garnish
salt and pepper

Method:

pasta  – prepare as directed on package.
sauce – heat olive oil over medium-low heat, add onions and cook until translucent or approximately 5 minutes. add garlic and heat another 2 minutes. stir in pumpkin, almond milk, sage and nutritional yeast, salt and pepper to taste.  heat over low heat for 5 minutes. serve over prepared pasta and garnish with additional fresh sage.

Monday Menu ~ Baked pasta with béchamel & tomato sauce

When I was growing up we would go to my grandparents house for the weekend and my grandma would always make dinner. Coming from an Italian background dinner was always together as a family, at the table, and full of delicious food. One of my favorites was my grandmas homemade tomato sauce with Italian sausage and polenta.

I remember the smell of olive oil and garlic wafting through the house as she cooked. To this day it’s one of my favorite smells… warm, inviting, and full of memories. Now, my house has those same smells filling the house on days I make tomato sauce and even more so with this baked pasta with béchamel and tomato sauce.

Baked Pasta with Bechamel & Tomato Sauce

Nothing is better on a cold fall day than a baked pasta dish full of rich tomato sauce, cheese, and a creamy béchamel sauce.

Béchamel is also known as white sauce, is made with a roux of butter and flour cooked in milk. It is one of the mother sauces of French cuisine. Béchamel is traditionally made by melting butter, and adding an equal part of flour in order to make a roux, which is cooked under low heat while stirring. Because it’s a white sauce you have to be careful to not brown the flour mixture. Then heated milk is gradually whisked in, and the sauce is cooked until thickened and smooth.

béchamel sauce

Béchamel is also the starter for a smooth and creamy sauce for mac & cheese!

Over the summer I grew my own tomatoes again and spent a lot of time making homemade sauce. So I made a big pot of it with homegrown green peppers, onions, garlic, hamburger, and of course Italian sausage.

Homemade Tomato Sauce

It was so tasty!  But the addition of Béchamel sauce made it better. It adds a layer of depth and creaminess that isn’t normally in a pasta dish.

Layering the pasta and sauces

Baked pasta with Béchamel & Tomato Sauce

Ingredients

  • Béchamel Sauce
  • 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 1/2 tablespoons flour
  • 2 cups milk
  • Tomato Sauce
  • (For this you can make your own or use a store bought.)
  • 1/2 lb hamburger
  • 1/2 lb Italian sausage
  • 1 onion chopped
  • 1 green pepper chopped
  • 2 cloves of garlic finely diced
  • 3 - 4 cups of fresh tomato sauce or 1 jar of sauce from the store.
  • Olive oil
  • 1 box of your favorite pasta - I used mostaccioli
  • Parmesan cheese

Instructions

    Béchamel Sauce
  1. Warm the milk in the microwave.
  2. In a sauce pan melt the butter over low heat and then whisk in the flour. Cook and stir for about 5 minutes but do not let it brown.
  3. Slowly add in the warmed milk whisking the entire time. Don't stop whisking! You want the sauce to smooth. The mixture will thicken as you stir & cook.
  4. When it's thick remove from the heat and set aside.
  5. Tomato Sauce
  6. Add a tablespoon of olive oil to a large pan and let it warm slightly. Add in the hamburger and Italian sausage and brown. Toss in the onions, peppers, and garlic and continue to cook for 5 - 7 minutes until the veggies are softened.
  7. Pour in your tomato sauce and cook for 10 minutes so all the flavors meld together. If you're using a homemade tomato sauce you'll want to add in some basil, oregano, salt, and pepper for lots of flavor.
  8. Pasta
  9. Cook according to the package direction
  10. Put it together
  11. You'll layer this a lot like lasagna. Tomato sauce on the bottom, then pasta, Béchamel, tomato sauce and then repeat the layers until you're left with just Béchamel and tomato sauce on top.
  12. Bake it
  13. In a preheated 350 degree oven bake the pasta for 20 minutes covered until warm and bubbly. Top with some parmesan cheese and enjoy.
http://www.withjustabitofmagic.com/monday-menu-baked-pasta-with-bechamel-tomato-sauce

As this baked the house filled with such a wonderful smell that I didn’t have to call the kids down for dinner! To say that they loved this baked pasta might be an understatement and for once I was happy that I made too much.

Have you made a béchamel sauce before? 

How did it turn out?

What did you use it for?