All my plant-based friends and family – this ones for you! Even though you most definitely don’t need to be a vegan to enjoy this dish. I whipped this up for a family dinner I was hosting (I made sausage baked ziti and my cousin is a vegan), and everyone loved it. I topped my shells with this Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce, but you can surely enjoy them without it as well.
When creating vegan/vegetarian dishes, adding plenty of flavor and nutrients is key! I have really enjoyed studying plant-based diets, as it really makes you think about cooking in a whole new way. Exploring plant-based replacements for things that you so carelessly grab on a day-to-day basis, thinking of ways to incorporate nutrients that can easily be overlooked; It’s a new world of cooking.
Don’t worry, I still love my meat! I am just definitely going to make a better attempt at exploring different options and thinking of ways to make my ‘normal’ meals more vegetarian/vegan friendly.
- 16 pasta shells, jumbo
- Cashew Cream (recipe here)
- 1 portobello mushroom, chopped
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1/2 red onion, minced
- 1 lb. baby spinach, sautéed
- 1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped
- Preheat oven to 375º. Toss your squash with olive oil, salt, pepper and garlic. Roast in the oven for about 35 minutes or until soft.
- Boil your pasta shells until al dente and carefully remove from the water. Set aside to cool.
- In a pan, drizzle olive oil. Add your chopped portobellos and minced red onion, sauté for 5 minutes. Add baby spinach and cook for an additional minute.
- In a mixing bowl, add your cashew cream. To the cream, add roasted squash, mushrooms, onions, and spinach. Carefully stir, ensuring your not mushing the vegetables.
- Fill each of your pasta shells with about 2 tablespoons of mixture and place in a baking dish. Drizzle with this Vegan Pumpkin Alfredo Sauce and place in the oven for 10-15 minutes (remember, everything’s already cooked so we just want to heat it up!)