It seems as soon as fall hits and the temperatures begin to drop, the baggy sweaters surface, we trade in our iced coffees for something hot, and we crave foods that are going to make us feel good ... and I think pasta is one of those dishes. Another thing that I love about pasta is the fact that it can be ready in less than 10 minutes; just add in the sauce, sauté the vegetables, and you can have a complete meal in no time- that is so delicious, satisfying, and makes you feel good. Plus, if you are anything like me, you are always looking for ways to sneak veggies into your meals, and pasta is a perfect vehicle for pretty much all vegetables.
Typically, I look for pastas that are made with legumes and include only real, simple ingredients; legume pastas feel better on my body, provide plant-based protein, and are gluten free! Luckily, Barilla just launched a new line of legume pastas that comes in four varieties: Chickpea Casarecce, Chickpea Rotini, Red Lentil Penne and Red Lentil Rotini. The best part is they are made with just ONE simple ingredient; no gums, no fillers, just chickpea or red lentil flour. Barilla has been my favorite brand of pasta and a staple in my home since I was a kid. Now, I love that they have this option!
Back to this dish ... a creamy pumpkin sauce tossed with Barilla Chickpea Rotini, arugula, and roasted zucchini chunks. It is SO good. Even if you aren’t a pumpkin lover, you will want to make this (you could also swap for any winter squash). The pumpkin flavor is not overly powerful, but just enough to give you that autumn feeling.
The ingredients for the pumpkin sauce are simple, too – almond milk, canned pumpkin puree, canned tomatoes (optional), dairy-free cheese, and spices ... that’s it. The sauce is both a little savory and a little sweet, dairy-free, and you’ll have enough left over for the entire week!
Both the pasta and pumpkin sauce can be prepared in less than 15 minutes, making this a quick, healthy weeknight dinner. While the pasta is boiling – about 7 minutes for an al dente texture – you can prepare the pumpkin sauce one of two ways: If you have a blender you can blend all the ingredients until smooth and creamy. If you don’t have a blender, you can just heat the sauce on the stovetop.
Once the pasta is finished cooking, drain it completely, add it back into the pot, then pour the pumpkin sauce and mix! I sprinkled fresh pepper on top, but dairy-free cheese and/or red pepper flakes would also taste delicious! You can keep the leftovers in the fridge for up to a week; to re-heat, simply warm on the stovetop in a pot over medium heat. This is also perfect for work the next day!
This is a dish you won’t become bored with because each time you make it, you can add in different veggies or use different spices for the sauce. I stuck with garlic, pumpkin spice, sea salt, and pepper, but you could also use sage, basil or anything you have on hand.
Hope you love this dish as much as I do, and if you’re curious as to where you can find the Barilla Legume Pasta, click here!
Prep time: 5 minutes
Cook time: 7 minutes
Total time: less than 15 minutes
Ingredients: Serves 4-6
2 cups of dry Barilla Chickpea Rotini (or any variety!)
1 canned pumpkin puree (15 0z, not the pumpkin pie filling)
1/2 cup canned diced tomatoes (optional, not necessary!)
1 cup almond milk
1/2 cup dairy-free cheese or nutritional yeast
1 tsp. of garlic powder
1 tsp. of sea salt
1 tsp. pepper
2 tsp. pumpkin spice
1 cup vegetables of choice (optional)
*Please adjust the spices to your preference. I tend to add more once I have tasted it all mixed together.
1.Cook the Barilla Chickpea Rotini according to the directions on the package. Once complete, drain well. Pour the pasta back into the pot. Set aside.
Pumpkin Sauce: Yields 2 cups
1. If you have a blender, add all the ingredients to the blender, and blend until completely smooth. Taste test and adjust to your needs.
2. If you do not have a blender, add all the ingredients for the sauce to a nonstick pan and cook on medium heat, stirring until combined.
3. Pour the pumpkin sauce over the pasta and mix until well combined. Taste test! At this point, I added a touch of sea salt and pepper.
4. Serve immediately with arugula or veggies!
If you are planning to add in veggies, you can sauté them in a nonstick pan on medium heat with extra virgin olive oil until they are tender. Plan to do this while the pasta is boiling. Or use leftovers!