This Pumpkin Pasta Bake (gluten free, vegan) is healthy comfort food at its best! Turmeric and pumpkin pie spices amp up the nutritional value and flavour profile. This dish is a hit with my family and know it will be for you too!
Have you heard of Trinidad Macaroni Pie? I’m going to assume the answer in no 😉
Trinidad Macaroni pie is a savory, calorie dense food that is usually eaten on a Sunday. Macaroni pie is similar to baked mac and cheese. It’s got milk and cheese and eggs and did I mention cheese? … lol Since I can no longer eat any of those things I started experimenting with various ingredients for a healthier Macaroni Pie. And so this Pumpkin Pasta Bake was born.
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Of course it tastes nothing like the traditional Trinidad Macaroni Pie but it’s warm and comforting and nourishing. A win-win in my book!
How do you make baked pasta?
If you’ve ever made lasagne you’ve made a pasta bake. For a successful pasta bake you need to precook all the ingredients, mix or layer them in your casserole dish and bake. Here are some tips for an awesome pasta bake.
- Boil the pasta only until it’s al dente as it will be cooking further in the oven.
- Always cook pasta bakes uncovered.
- To prevent your pasta bake from drying out use a wide shallow dish instead of a deep one.
How long does it take to bake pasta in the oven and what’s the point?
Pasta bakes only need about 15-20 minutes in the oven as all of the ingredients in the assembled dish are already pre cooked. Baking heats the dish up all the way through, melts any cheese in the dish and forms a lovely crust on the top.
Can you make a Pasta Bake ahead of time?
One of the beauties of a Pasta Bake is that you can prepare it 100% ahead of time. When you’re ready to consume you simply pop it into the oven. It’s the perfect make ahead dish!
How do you prevent the cooked pasta from sticking together?
Although I don’t think it’s such a disaster if the pasta is stuck together in a pasta bake I can see how that would be annoying. The following tricks have worked for me to prevent pasta from sticking.
- Add a tablespoon of olive oil to the water in which you’re boiling the pasta. Thanks for the tip mom!
- If you’re not going to be eating the pasta straight away run it under cold water as you drain it.
- Toss your pasta in the sauce right after draining.
Pumpkin Pasta Bake during the Luteal Phase
If you’re a lady who’s practicing cycle syncing then you’ll be happy to know that this Pumpkin Pasta Bake fits in perfectly with your Luteal Phase nutrition. Pumpkin is a great source Vitamin E , Thiamin, Niacin, Vitamin B6, Folate, Iron, Magnesium and Phosphorus, and a very good source of Dietary Fiber, Vitamin A, Vitamin C, Riboflavin, Potassium, Copper and Manganese. All of which your body craves at that time of the month.
My family tends to enjoy this Pumpkin Pasta Bake as a side dish served with my One Skillet Pork Chops. Have you tried that recipe yet?
- 4 cups pumpkin or butternut squash peeled and cubed
- 2 medium sized carrots peeled and chopped
- ¼ cup coconut milk
- 3 tablespoons nutritional yeast (optional but adds a cheesy flavour)
- 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon turmeric
- ¼ teaspoon black pepper
- ¼ teaspoon cinnamon
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 3 cups dry gluten free pasta
- ½ cup almond meal
- ¼ cup gluten free rolled oats
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 1 tablespoon coconut oil
- 1 teaspoon ground paprika
Steam the pumpkin and carrots until tender
Puree in a food processor
Add all remaining ingredients i.e. coconut milk, nutritional yeast, olive oil and spices and process until combined
Preheat oven to 190C / 375F
Combine almond meal, rolled oats, nutritional yeast, coconut oil and ground paprika in a small bowl
Cook pasta only until al dente
Drain and return to pot
Add pumpkin pasta sauce and mix
Grease baking dish with a knob of butter or a swish of olive oil
Add pumpkin pasta to the dish
Sprinkle almond meal mixture over the top of the pasta bake
Place dish in the oven and bake for 15 minutes