A creamy kabocha squash and red pepper pasta sauce that is made by blending together a mix of vegetables, cashews, spices and broth. It’s the perfect mix of sweet and savory and is easy to prepare. It’s also a great way to sneak veggies in for picky eaters. Definitely a must try this fall!
- 1/2 cup raw cashews
- 1 small kabocha squash
- 1 head of garlic
- 1/3 cauliflower, cut into large florets
- 1/2 medium onion* (roughly chopped)
- 1 stalk celery, roughly chopped
- 1 medium carrot, roughly chopped
- 1/4 cup tablespoons roasted red peppers, drained
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- Optional: A pinch red pepper flakes
- 2 to 3 cups vegetable broth (or as needed)
- Salt and black pepper, to taste
- 1/2 to 3/4 cup fresh basil (unpacked), sliced
- 2 lb. gluten-free spaghetti noodles (or pasta of your choice)
- Vegan parmesan cheese (optional)
- Fresh basil, sliced
- Black pepper
- Soak the cashews in water overnight. If you do not have time to, you can also bring a small pot of water to a boil, remove it from heat and add in the cashews. Allow them to soak until you blend the sauce together (which will be about 1 hour).
- Preheat the oven to 400°F and position the rack to the middle of the oven. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone mat. Wash and dry the kabocha squash, place it (whole) on the baking sheet and into the oven on for 18-20 minutes. Remove the pan from the oven and cool until the squash is easy to handle. If the stem of it is protruding, use a knife to carefully remove it. Slice the squash in half vertically, then scoop out the seeds and fiber using a spoon. Slice the squash into 1-inch wedges, trying to keep the slices uniform for even cooking. Place 6 or 7 the slices of the cooked squash (roughly 1 1/2 cups) onto your lined baking sheet. The remaining kabocha squash can be cooked on an additional baking sheet with the same baking time and directions below. it can be stored it in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week.
- Using your hands, remove loose skin from the outside of the head of garlic. With a sharp knife, cut 1/4“-inch off the top of the garlic, or enough to expose the tops of the cloves. Place the garlic head (cut side down) onto the baking sheet along with the cauliflower florets, onions, celery, and carrots. Sprinkle with salt and pepper and place back into the oven for 40 minutes, flipping/mixing halfway through.
- 10 minutes before the vegetables are done, prepare the pasta.
- Once you have removed the baking sheet from the oven, allow the veggies to cool until easily handled and then use a knife to carefully remove the skin from the kabocha and add it into a high speed blender. You can discard this or snack on it as you continue cooking. Using you hands, squeeze the soften garlic cloves out of the head an into the blender, along with the soaked cashews (drained), the remaining vegetables on the baking sheet, the roasted red peppers, nutritional yeast, red pepper flakes, 2 cups of vegetable broth plus salt and pepper as desired. Blend until smooth, adding as much of the additional 1 cup of vegetable broth as needed to thin out the sauce. Adjust seasonings to taste and then add in the sliced basil. Pulse the basil in until well combined (do not blend it as it will turn the sauce a weird color).
- Drain the pasta, add it back into the pot and pour over the sauce. Mix until well combined.
- Serve with a sprinkle of fresh parmesan, basil and black pepper. Enjoy!
- If you don’t have kabocha, you can also opt to use butternut squash, acorn squash, sweet potato or even just some canned pumpkin puree. The flavor will of course vary and we have not tested these variations in this specific recipe, but based on my experience with those it should work!
- Prep Time: 20 minutes
- Cook Time: 2 hours
- Category: Pasta, Entree, Fall
- Method: Oven, Blender
- Cuisine: Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free
Keywords: Pasta, Entree, Fall, Vegan, Gluten-Free, Oil-Free, kabocha, pasta, sauce, roasted, red pepper