A super velvety and creamy vegan pasta that is ready in 30 minutes and has a hint of curry! Made with chickpeas, tomatoes and pumpkin. The perfect weeknight meatless meal.
I make this creamy vegan pasta recipe all the time. As in all the time. When I’m traveling this is one of the easiest dinners to whip up. The ingredients (so far, knock on wood) have been easy to find everywhere in Asia.
The local supermarkets have all had pasta, onions, garlic, canned chickpeas, canned tomatoes, pumpkin (or squash) and fresh herbs. Those are the only key crucial ingredients in this creamy vegan pasta recipe.
And this dish comes together with only 1 pot, 1 pan and 30 minutes.
It’s also happens to be super hearty and super filling. And when D is sick of being dragged around to any and every local restaurant to sample fill in the blank local specialty I make him this.
Let’s face it, he’s a pasta man.
And while I could live off of rice noodles and Asian flavors forever and ever, I am always happy to prepare a rich and hearty bowl of pasta for him.
The things we do for love right?
Now normally I am not a pasta fan. As in, an Italian restaurant is literally my last choice on earth for restaurants to dine in. I do everything in my power to avoid Italian restaurants (anywhere outside of Italy) and would never willing go out for pasta. It’s just not my thing.
But this creamy vegan pasta is something else. This dish I would go out for. Put this on a restaurant menu and Italian might just quickly become my new favorite cuisine.
I’ve recently decided that pumpkin is the best savory vegan thickener. You boil it, mash it up and add it to make a savory sauce thicker and heartier. And I don’t find the pumpkin taste too overpowering. On the contrary it tones down that acidity for the tomatoes and blends well allowing the sauce to still taste tomato based while being creamy.
If I’m having pasta I need a creamy sauce. Creamy but not heavy. As in absolutely no heavy cream can be added. Ever. Not ok.
I prefer my creamy sauce to be veggie based.
For an extra depth of flavor I added in a bit of smoked paprika and curry powder (which was sold in a tiny bag for the equivalent of 20 cents in the Philippines – a steal!). The curry powder adds an element of surprise to the dish, and the most subtle hint of an Asian flair. You might not even pick up on it.
Mostly I was just excited to get my hands on curry powder and wanted to add it to just about everything (including my morning eggs). It works though in this creamy vegan pasta dish.
As for added protein- here we have chickpeas to thank for that. Those crisp up lightly with the onions, garlic, and spices before the diced tomatoes, mashed pumpkin and coconut milk are added.
Whenever I’m cooking with canned tomatoes I always add in a pinch of sugar to help cut the acidity quicker. And if you don’t have any coconut milk on hand, not to worry it can be omitted. The sauce will still be creamy thanks to the pumpkin.
Serve the pasta with the sauce, garnished with fresh herbs for your new favorite 30 minute weeknight meatless meal. This is hands down one of my new favorite comfort food recipes. So rich and creamy without being overly heavy. And with hidden veggies! A perfect dinner for the whole family.
- 3 cups cubed pumpkin
- 12 ounces gluten free fettucine
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- 1/2 red onion diced
- 5 cloves garlic chopped
- 1 tablespoon smoked paprika
- 1 tablespoon curry powder
- 1 can chickpeas rinsed and drained
- 1 can diced tomatoes
- 1 cup coconut milk optional
- salt/pepper to taste
- basil to garnish
- Fill pot with water and bring to a boil. Add pumpkin. Cook until soft when pierced with a fork. Remove from pot. Bring to a boil again and add pasta. Cook according to package directions.
- Heat pan over medium heat Add olive oil.
- Add onion and cook for a couple minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes.
- Add salt, pepper, paprika, and curry powder. Mix.
- Add chickpeas. Cook for a few minutes.
- Add canned tomatoes.
- Mash cooked pumpkin in a bowl.
- Add mashed pumpkin.
- Bring to a boil, reduce heat and simmer for a few minutes.
- Add coconut milk. Stir. Bring to a boil and cook for a few minutes.
- Serve sauce over pasta, garnished with basil.
To help the tomatoes break down add a 1/4 teaspoon of sugar!