PUMPKIN ALLA VODKA PASTA
Author: Jamie Vespa MS, RD
Recipe type: Entree, Vegetarian
Prep time: 15 mins
Cook time: 20 mins
Total time: 35 mins
Pumpkin alla Vodka Pasta with golden mushrooms and ribbons of kale tossed in vegan vodka sauce. This healthy weeknight pasta recipe is perfect for easy fall dinners, and sure to become a family favorite.
- 4 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 8 oz. cremini mushrooms, sliced
- 1 yellow onion, finely chopped
- 4 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- ¾ tsp. crushed red pepper flakes
- ½ tsp. grated nutmeg
- 4 oz. tomato paste
- ½ cup vodka
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- ¾ cup canned coconut milk
- 1 lb. dry rigatoni pasta (or paste shape of choice)
- 1 bunch lacinato kale, stemmed and roughly chopped
- 2 Tbsp. fresh thyme leaves
- Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for garnish (omit if making plant-based, or use nutritional yeast)
- Fill a stock pot with water and heat over high. Season liberally with salt and bring to a boil while you prep other ingredients.
- Heat 2 Tbsp. oil in a Dutch oven or large high-sided skillet over medium heat. Arrange mushrooms in a single layer and cook, undisturbed, until bottom side is golden brown, about 3 minutes. Toss and continue cooking 2 to 3 more minutes, until softened. Transfer to a bowl.
- Add remaining 2 Tbsp. oil and onion to pan. Cook, stirring often, until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Add garlic, salt, red pepper flakes, and nutmeg; cook 1 minute, until fragrant.
- Add tomato paste and stir to evenly coat onion. Continue to cook, stirring often, until paste is deep red and starting to brown on the bottom of the pan, about 5 minutes. Add vodka to deglaze pan, stirring to scrape up browned bits of tomato paste. Cook 1 minute to allow some of the alcohol to cook off.
- Stir in pumpkin puree, coconut milk, and sautéed mushrooms; reduce heat to low.
- Once pasta water is boiling, add pasta and cook until almost al dente. Add kale during final minute of cooking.
- Use a slotted spoon to transfer cooked pasta and kale to skillet with vodka sauce. Stir in pasta cooking water in ½ cup increments until sauce turns smooth and glossy and coats each piece of pasta (I used 1 cup total). Stir in fresh thyme leaves and garnish with Parmesan, if desired.