I’ll take pot luck: Creamy Pumpkin, Sage and Walnut Pasta Bake

This satisfying pasta casserole channels all the flavors of autumn: pumpkin, sage, warm spices and toasted nuts.

Make this fully healthy plant-based by sautéing the onion and garlic in a little water instead of oil.

Serves 8 as a main course or about 12 to 14 as a side dish

500g dried penne pasta
6 cups kale, chopped
2 tsp extra virgin olive oil
1 medium yellow onion, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1 15-ounce can pumpkin puree (about 2 cups)
1 1/4 cups vegetable stock
1/8 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
1/4 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp kosher salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
2 tbsp minced sage
3/4 cup chopped walnuts, toasted
1/3 cup vegan Parmesan-style cheese

Preheat the oven to 200 degrees celsius. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Season with about 1 tbsp salt and add the pasta. Cook according to the package directions, adding the kale in the last 5 minutes of cooking. Drain and return to the pot, stirring occasionally to prevent noodles from sticking together.
In a medium nonstick saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onions and sauté, stirring occasionally, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook, stirring constantly, for 30 seconds.
Stir in the pumpkin puree, vegetable stock, nutmeg, ginger, salt, pepper and sage. Bring to a simmer over medium high heat and simmer for about 5 minutes to allow flavors to meld and for the sauce to thicken. Pour the sauce over the noodles and stir to coat the noodles completely. Spoon the noodle mixture into a 9- by 13-inch ceramic or glass casserole dish. Sprinkle with the walnuts and the cheese. Bake for 30 minutes, or until the top is browned and the pasta is heated through. Serve hot or warm. – Developed by JESSICA GOLDBOGEN HARLAN.

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