Remember when I made Pumpkin Ravioli last week and had a bunch of leftover cashew ricotta? The Pumpkin Baked Ziti from Veganomicon was the perfect recipe to use it all up. I really only used the recipe as a guideline since my cashew ricotta already had seasoning and pumpkin in it. The crunch sage breadcrumb topping was fantastic. I didn't make homemade breadrumbs, instead I used panko to give a really crunchy contrast to the creamy ricotta filling. The walnuts in the recipe really step up your standard bread crumb topping too, they will find their way into any recipe I make that calls for a crumb topping in the future.
I did a lot of googling today to try and come up with some sort of sauce to serve over it and was kind of at a loss. After I tossed the ziti in the oven I decided to try an experiment. I put about a half cup of soy cream and half a can of pumpkin puree into a sauce pan and whisked them together, added some soy butter and spices and then let it barely simmer for about 10 minutes. The result was a perfectly creamy pumpkin sauce. Some people might think I'm weird for serving pumpkin sauce over pumpkin baked ziti, but I'm telling you, this shit is cray. It made me wonder why I don't do cream sauces more often, the possibilities are endless. Pureed greens, tomato, basil, sage, really anything you could think of would probably translate really well into the soy cream/butter base. You can make them as thick or as thin as you want and serve them over pretty much anything. Fall 2012 will be the season of the cream sauce! Probably Winter 2012 too.
For a side I sauteed about 4 cloves of minced garlic in a little bit of olive oil and then dumped in a bag of baby spinach to wilt. This meal was so easy to pull together, especially because of the ricotta I already had made and with all the inactive cooking time while the dish baked I had time to clean up the kitchen and tweak the sauce. I really really suggest you make this dish if you love pumpkin as much as I do.
I'm not normally one for posting recipes that aren't either entirely mine or that I haven't adapted but because I made some changes, I will post it here.
Pumpkin Baked Ziti with Sage Bread Crumb Topping and Pumpkin Cream Sauce
(Inspired by and adapted from Veganomicon)
For the Baked Ziti:
- 2 cups of Pumpkin Cashew Ricotta (recipe below)
- 3/4 lb of ziti or penne
- 1 onion thinly sliced
- 3 tblspns olive oil
- 1/4 cup vegetable broth
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
- Preheat to 375 and lightly grease a casserole dish.
- Prepare pasta according to package directions.
- While pasta is cooking heat the oil in a pan and add onions. Cook on med-low heat until caramelized, about 10-15 minutes.
- Place the ricotta mix into a large bowl, add caramelized onions, bread crumbs and veggie broth. Mix until well combined. Taste and add more spices as you like.
- Pour pasta mix into casserole dish and cover with Sage Bread Crumb Topping (recipe below)
- Bake 35 minutes.
Pumpkin Cashew Ricotta
- 1 cup raw cashew pieces
- 1/4 cup lemon juice
- 2 tblspns olive oil
- 1 head roasted garlic
- 1 lb firm tofu, drained
- 2 tblspns sage
- 2 tspns salt
- 1/2 tspn nutmeg
- 1 1/2 can pumpkin puree
- In food processor add cashews, lemon, oil and garlic. Pulse until it is a paste.
- Crumble in the tofu and process until it starts to resemble ricotta
- Add spices and pulse until combined.
Bread Crumb Topping
- 2 1/2 panko bread crumbs
- 2/3 cup walnut pieces - chopped in food processor til they look like coarse crumbs
- 1/2 cup soy butter
- 1 tblspn dried sage
- salt and fresh ground pepper
- In a skillet melt the butter and add all ingredients. Stir until everything is mixed and coated.
Pumpkin Cream Sauce
- 1/2 cup soy cream
- 1/2 can of pumpkin puree
- 1/3 cup soy butter
- 1 tblspn garlic powder
- 1 tblspn sage
- Salt and pepper to taste
- Combine all ingredients and bring to a low simmer while constantly stirring. Cook until butter is melted and desired consistency and taste is achieved.
|(Tiny portion is due to me snacking while cooking and not being as hungry)|