Saturday, October 30, 2010

Pumpkin & Cashew Pasta Casserole

I'm making this this afternoon but I am modifying it because I really don't like super cheesy anything - I usually feel pretty awful after consuming a lot of dairy (except yoghurt). This version has all the creamy-ness and savory-ness that cheese would provide. Here we go:

Pumpkin & Ricotta Pasta Casserole
serves 6
Olive oil
1 pound pasta, such as farfalle, small shells, or elbows
One 15-ounce container ricotta 1 3/4 cups of cashew cream (cashews in the blender with enough water to puree it into a similar texture to ricotta - I didn't make it smooth on account of the nuts that are supposed to be in it anyway)
One 15-ounce can pumpkin puree 1 3/4 cups carnival squash puree (made by chopping up 2 carnival squash, drizzling with olive oil and roasting in the oven, then peeling and putting in the blender)
2 eggs 2 tablespoons of ground flax seed plus 6 tablespoons of water whisked together in a bowl.
1/2 cup yogurt
2 teaspoons salt
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg pinch of thyme
1/2 teaspoon ground ginger pinch of rosemary
3/4 cup pecans, roughly chopped (the cashews provide the nutty texture that these would give)
1/2 cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped (I actually did more than this, typically in recipes that call for garlic, I -at the least- double the amount)
3/4 cup grated Parmesan, divided
Heat the oven to 375°F. Lightly oil a 9x13-inch baking dish with olive oil. Set aside. Bring a 4-quart pot of water to boil over high heat, and stir about 1 tablespoon of salt. Add the pasta, and turn the heat down to medium. Cook for a slightly shorter amount of time than specified by the package. (For instance, if the package specifies 10 to 12 minutes, cook for 9 to 10, or until just barely al dente.) Drain the pasta and toss lightly with olive oil.
In a large bowl, whisk together the ricotta cashew cream, pureed pumpkin carnival squash, eggs flax seed, and yogurt. Whisk in the salt, pepper, nutmeg thyme, and ginger rosemary.
Stir in the pasta and coat completely with the pumpkin squash mixture. Stir in chopped pecans, sage, and garlic. Stir in 1/2 cup Parmesan.
Spread the mixture evenly in the prepared baking dish and sprinkle the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan over top. Bake uncovered for 35 minutes or until golden brown on top. Let stand for 5 minutes before serving.


Tigress said...

This sounds delicious!!!! How did it turn out? I love having new seasonal recipes to use around the Holidays!

Incident Alice said...

Turned out fairly well: next time half as much cashew cream and twice as much squash. More sage too & the yoghurt seemed unnecessary.

It was really good the next day tossed in the frying pan to warm up (I don't have a microwave).

Sorry for the late reply.