creamy pumpkin pasta with vegan coconut bacon

It’s 27°C outside, but! It is autumn – so pumpkins will be eaten, darnit. This recipe is a result of not really knowing what to make for dinner, just winging it with what’s in the house, and being extremely pleased with the end result. So I made it again.

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This coconut bacon though. It’s seriously a game changer and I can see myself putting this on everything this season. Creamy pea soup with bacon? Yes. Vegan carbonara? Yes. Mixed in with mash? Heck to the yes.

I suggest you use soy sauce, but *someone* forgot to buy a new bottle after emptying it, so I tried it with salt this one time and it also worked pretty well. I used coconut chunks the first time around, but I ended up with chewy, salty lumps of coconut. No good. Coconut flakes is where it’s at. The thinner the better.

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This recipe could be done in about 30 minutes if you plan it out right. The pumpkin needs about 20-25minutes in the oven – maybe even less if you chop it into tiny chunks, so the oven’s already heated to toast the coconut flakes. Cook the pasta when the pumpkin is in the oven, toast the ‘bacon’ when you’re making the sauce. Convenience, check!

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Serves about two:

You’ll need –
– an oven
– a non stick pan
– a blender
– baking paper for lining a baking tray

Ingredients –
for the sauce:
– 1 small pumpkin or butternut (2 cups worth)
– 1 cup of soy cream
– 1 clove of garlic
– olive oil
– pepper & salt
– optional: fresh sage

– 200 – 250 gr of your favorite pasta

for the coconut bacon:
– 1 cup coconut flakes
– 1 tbsp coconut oil, melted
– 2 tsp liquid smoke
– 1/2 tsp salt (or 2 tsp soy sauce)
– 1 tbsp maple syrup

How to make –

1. Preheat the oven to 180°C.
2. Clean the pumpkin and cut into chunks. Line a baking tray with paper and bake the pumpkin until tender, around 25 minutes.
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta, drain and set aside.
3. Prepare the coconut bacon. In a bowl, mix the coconut flakes, oil, liquid smoke, maple syrup and salt / soy sauce. Spread out onto a lined baking tray and bake for 5 – 10 minutes on 180°C. Keep an eye on it, it burns very quickly. It’ll feel sticky after baking, but they’ll be crispy once cooled down. You can toast the coconut bacon after or during baking the pumpkin, whatever is easier for you.
4. Once the pumpkin is done, transfer it to the blender and add the soy cream. Blend until a thick, smooth sauce forms.
5. Put a pan on medium heat and add the oil and garlic (and optional fresh sage), cooking it until fragrant. Add the pumpkin sauce and let it simmer for a minute or two. Add the pasta and mix well with the sauce.
6. Transfer to a plate and finish with some coconut bacon. Or a lot. Or all of it.

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