Creamy Vegan Pumpkin Penne
note: this recipe is best in a high speed blender, such as a Vitamix. If you're using a regular blender, be sure to soak your cashews overnight.
Serves: serves 4
  • ½ kabocha or small sugar pie pumpkin (yield 1 heaping cup/250 mL of cooked mash)
  • ½ yellow onion sliced into wedges
  • 2 garlic cloves, unpeeled
  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for drizzling
  • 5 fresh sage leaves
  • ¾ cup (175 mL) vegetable broth
  • ½ cup (125 mL) raw unsalted cashews soaked 3 to 4 hours or overnight, drained and rinsed
  • 2 tablespoons (30 mL) extra-virgin olive oil
  • 16 ounces (450 g) uncooked penne pasta
  • ½ teaspoon sea salt, more to taste
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C) and line a baking sheet with foil. Place the pumpkin, onion, and garlic on the baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Turn the pumpkin cut-side down and pierce a few holes in the skin with a fork. Cover and bake until the onion is soft and the pumpkin flesh is very tender, 35 to 45 minutes.
  2. Add the sage to the pan during the last few minutes. Remove the pan from the oven, keeping everything covered, and let it continue to steam for another 10 to 15 minutes.
  3. Pour the vegetable broth into a high speed blender. Remove the skin and add the pumpkin flesh to the blender along with the onion, peeled garlic, sage, cashews, ½ teaspoon salt and freshly ground black pepper. Blend until smooth and creamy. Add the olive oil and blend again. (If your sauce is not smooth and creamy, try adding a little more broth or olive oil and blend it longer).
  4. Cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water according to package directions or until al dente. Reserve ½ cup (125 mL) of the starchy pasta water before draining the pasta.
  5. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Stir in half the sauce, adding more as needed to coat the pasta. Add the reserved pasta water, ¼ cup (60 mL) at a time, to thin the sauce and make it creamy. Add the remaining sauce as desired. Taste and season with more salt and pepper. Serve hot.
Recipe by Love and Lemons at