So many times pumpkin swings sweet when fall comes around, but the beauty of our vegan pumpkin pasta sauce is how creamy it is and a healthier substitute for mac and cheese in the autumn. Pasta with pumpkin and sage figs will become a new fall favorite!
Perfectly Creamy Sauce—that’s Vegan
The vegan pumpkin pasta sauce relies upon three elements to give it a supple texture. First, you will melt vegan butter. Then, after the pasta is done cooking, stir in the coconut cream. And, finally, the pasta water will thicken the sauce until it’s luxurious.
If you’re dairy-free or eat vegan, you probably already know how versatile vegan butter is. Here, it warms the sage and the flavor of figs infuse into it. Coconut cream is available in select stores, but if you’re having trouble finding it, here’s a tip—pick up a can of whole fat coconut milk, looking for a can that is heavy. Stick it in the refrigerator overnight and then scoop off the top solids for the coconut cream, reserving the coconut water for another application (a fig smoothie would be delightful with the leftover coco water). Then, pasta water is the secret that chefs turn to for creating pasta sauces—as the pasta cooks it releases gluten into the water and acts as a thickener.
A Fun Hack for a One Pan Meal
Rather than prepping the sauce in a separate pan from the pasta, the simplicity of this dish is the sauce gets created in stages in the same pan where the pasta cooks. Vegan butter sizzles the sage with the figs until aromatic. Then, the pasta and just enough water is added to cook the pasta. Once al dente, pumpkin puree and coconut cream get stirred into the pan until thickened and smooth. And, that’s it! You’ll find a few pantry staples—cans of coconut cream and pumpkin puree with a pound of pasta and package of our Orchard Choice and Sun-Maid California Golden Dried Figs are the pivotal ingredients. It’s a simple dish that is a healthier comfort food.
As for the pasta, we like one that has lots of nooks and crannies, like conchiglie shells or groovy rigatoni so the vegan pumpkin pasta sauce can cling to the pasta. Serve it as a meatless main dish or as a side dish alongside roasted cauliflower. Figs and pumpkin are whole food ingredients that add flavor and nutrition to your meals—you could even swap out the pasta for whole grain.
Vegan Pumpkin Pasta Sauce with Sage Figs
- 1 stockpot
- 1 tablespoon vegan butter
- 8 ounces Orchard Choice or Sun-Maid California Golden Dried Figs , stems removed + figs cut in half
- 1/2 teaspoon ground sage
- 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt plus more to taste, as needed
- Black pepper to taste, as needed
- 1 pound dried pasta (like conchiglie shells)
- 4 1/2 cups water
- 1/2 cup pure pumpkin puree
- 1/2 cup coconut cream
- Maldon sea salt
- Melt butter in a stock pot, then stir in figs, sage and salt, sauteing until aromatic, about 1 minute.
- Stir in the pasta and the 4 1/2 cups of water. Bring to a boil. Cover the pot, lower the heat and simmer until al dente, about 9 minutes depending on the type of pasta.*
- Uncover the pot. Add in the pumpkin puree and coconut cream, stirring until combined and thickened. Season to taste.