MoFo #4 — Entree Thursday: Pumpkin baked penne

4 Oct

2012 banner

Happy Thursday! Today I’m doing a main dish, and keeping with my fall foods theme I cooked up a baked pasta dish from Veganomicon. I’m sort of regretting my theme this week as we’ve been having an intense heat wave that is not really in line with warm, heavy dishes! I made this dish earlier in the week when it was 100 degrees outside…ugh! I had already bought the ingredients though, so yeah, I took one for the MoFo team, ha ha ha!

The pumpkin sauce for this dish is really, really good. I had a hard time keeping myself from eating big spoonfuls of it out of the bowl! The cream sauce is a mix of cashew ricotta, pumpkin, brown sugar, nutmeg, and cayenne. This is the first time I made cashew ricotta from V’con — my go-to ricotta is an almond recipe from Bryanna Clark Grogan — and I didn’t really care for the stuff straight out of the blender (it tasted really tofu-y) but it was delicious mixed in with everything else.
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I thought the pasta mix looked pretty gross, so of course I took a picture. Maybe this would be a good Halloween dish — gooey orange finger and worm mix?
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The topping was tasty, too, and I liked the addition of ground walnuts to the bread crumbs. I’m really getting into these ingredient photos; the spices always look so pretty!
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The finished product! There were a lot of components to put this meal together but it was totally worth it. The nutmeg really stood out in the sauce, which was rich and creamy with a ton of flavor. The crumb topping was sage-y and crunchy. The pasta:topping ratio seemed a little off to me, so I might use less topping next time. The only thing I didn’t like about this recipe is how hard it is to take a pretty photo! Everything just looks like a blob of pumpkin barf, but I did my best!
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I think this would be a great main course for Thanksgiving. It’s a very tasty and omni-friendly dish, even if there’s a little tofu worked in!

Since I’m trying to be a little more health-conscious, I made a few changes that didn’t seem to change the dish for the worse:

-the ricotta calls for 2 tsp olive oil. That’s not a lot of fat, but it didn’t seem necessary for this dish so I omitted it.
-I used whole wheat penne, which was fine as long as you cook it until it’s really soft
-I used whole wheat bread crumbs in the topping (the recipe doesn’t specify what type) and it added a great flavor
-the recipe calls for 1/4 cup margarine for sauteeing the bread crumbs. I halved this and it was totally fine.

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5 Responses to “MoFo #4 — Entree Thursday: Pumpkin baked penne”

  1. Carrie October 4, 2012 at 5:37 am #

    I love that dish!!! Thanks for posting what changes you made!

    I’m totally jealous of your heat wave. It actually SNOWED in Calgary yesterday. SNOWED. Okay, I’m not in Calgary, but that means winter is coming already here in Canada!

    • Autumn October 4, 2012 at 12:06 pm #

      Ha ha ha! We should trade places!

  2. Food and Loathing in the Steel City October 4, 2012 at 8:22 am #

    In the end, it was beautiful.

  3. Susmitha - Veganosaurus October 5, 2012 at 6:26 am #

    I’m a big fan of pumpkin based savoury creams. Yum yum!

    If you hadn’t described it as “pumpkin barf” it would have looked a LOT more delicious! haha Especially that last pic makes the dish look yum! So you did manage to do a good job of grabbing a pretty picture of the dish.

  4. ameyfm October 13, 2012 at 9:59 pm #

    I really love that recipe (though I agree it’s not the most attractive) – but unfortunately Musty didn’t like it at all. Shucks! Maybe I”ll make it again sometime and see if he changes his mind.

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