Pumpkin and Sage Vegan Cream Sauce

Pumpkin and Sage Vegan Cream Sauce

This quick and easy Pumpkin and Sage Vegan Cream Sauce is a crowd pleaser with a super creamy texture and subtle sweetness.  All of my carnivores loved it, and it comes together easily in a half hour.

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Pumpkin is everywhere this time of year.  You can find pumpkin in muffins, lattes, pies and even pancakes.  Many of these treats have dairy in them so, for those of us that have to avoid dairy like the plague, pumpkin season tends to be challenging.  I saw a food magazine in the grocery store checkout about a month ago (yes, in August!) and on the cover was a gorgeous pasta dish tossed in a luscious creamy pumpkin sauce.  “Mmmmmm” was my first thought, which was followed rather promptly by “no need to buy the magazine, I won’t be able to eat it anyhow”.   Yes, so sad for me.  I’ve been dairy free for a long time but I still feel entitled to a pity party for myself every now and again.  So, pity party had, and we are moving on!

 

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If I want to eat what the other kids are eating, I’ve got to make it myself.  So when I got home from the grocery store that day, I let my fingers do the walking through the Google search results and found lots of good options to use as substitutes for milk, cream and butter in sauces.  This recipe was inspired by Vicky Berman of Avocado Pesto, an amazing food blogger with oodles of vegan and gluten free recipes.   I’ve increased the yield of this sauce since I’m always feeding at least a few people, and I also added honey to enhance the pumpkin flavor.  The sage is incorporated into the sauce (as well as sprinkled on top) to better disperse this gorgeous herb’s flavor throughout the dish.

 

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We ate this sauce for three days after the initial serving (I cannot cook in small quantities, I think it is a genetic problem…) and, while it can be microwaved, I found that heating the sauce up on the stove gives the best results.  So, keep any unused sauce separate from the pasta, and put a scoopful into a deep frying pan with a tablespoon of olive oil to warm it up.  Stir frequently, and add warmed pasta into the sauce just before serving.

 

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I enjoyed this rich sauce over pasta with a glass of Alexander Valley Vineyards’ 2014 Cabernet Franc.  This wine was one of the few that I had shipped home when we visited Sonoma this past summer.  I fell in love with it in the tasting room, and even had it with my picnic lunch at the vineyard.  Aged in French oak, it has the “well rounded flavors of blueberries, blackberry, mocha and spice, along with velvety texture and a long finish” according to the label.  This rich wine compliments the mild sweetness and fresh sage in the sauce without overpowering it.  Coconut milk doesn’t feel nearly as heavy as cream in a sauce, which makes this medium bodied wine a perfect match for this sauce.  Alexander Valley Vineyards’ Cabernet Franc has won many awards, but it won my heart too.  Try a glass when you cook up some Pumpkin and Sage Vegan Cream Sauce – I promise you won’t be disappointed!

 

Pumpkin and Sage Vegan Cream Sauce

Pumpkin and Sage Vegan Cream Sauce

Ingredients

  • (1) 15 oz can plus 1/2 cup pumpkin
  • (1) 15 oz can coconut milk
  • 1/2 cup honey
  • 1 1/2 cup vegetable broth
  • 3/4 tsp salt
  • 30 sage leaves, separated (half chopped, half whole)
  • 10 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • 14 oz pasta
  • 5 T olive oil, separated

Instructions

  1. Note: you can easily make this recipe gluten free and organic by using your favorite gluten free pasta and organic ingredients which can be easily found at most grocery stores
  2. Cook pasta according to package directions. After draining, toss with 2 T olive oil and place in serving bowl.
  3. Place 15 whole sage leaves in a pan on medium heat and drizzle with 1 T olive oil; let cook until fragrant (approx. 3-4 minutes).
  4. Stir gently and let cook until leaves darken slightly; remove from pan, cool on a paper plate, and chop just before serving pasta.
  5. Place 2 T olive oil in pan on medium high heat and add garlic; sautee until fragrant but not browning.
  6. Turn heat down to medium and add 15 finely chopped sage leaves. Stir periodically for 3 minutes.
  7. Add pumpkin and combine thoroughly; cook for 3 minutes.
  8. Add coconut milk and salt; bring to boil then reduce heat to keep sauce at a low simmer.
  9. Add honey, stir to combine.
  10. Add vegetable broth, stir to combine.
  11. Simmer on low 5 minutes.
  12. Plate pasta, top with sauce, and garnish with chopped cooked sage leaves.
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Enjoy!

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