This recipe is one of my favorites. Admittedly, a lot is going on here. Part savory and part sweet, the complexity of spices makes for a simple yet flavorful combination. Most recipes using pumpkin ricotta are strictly savory. This recipe, however, has a sweetness that lingers for a bit in the background. I love how the pumpkin mixes flawlessly with the sage’s earthiness, and how that combination balances perfectly with the aromatic baking spices and sweet maple syrup. Served with my cashew béchamel sauce, this would be a perfect recipe for anyone wishing to do something a little different for Thanksgiving. No Turkey? No Problem! Also, this pairs very well with either red, or white wine. I would serve this with a nice oaky chardonnay.
Part savory, part sweet, this recipe covers all the bases! Some recipes do not have you press the tofu. Pressing the tofu removes an additional 1/2 cup of water, and this prevents it from being too runny.
- 1 (16 oz) package of organic Conchiglioni Pasta, or other egg free large shell pasta
- 1 (12 oz.) package of extra firm organic tofu, pressed
- 3 Tbsp (6g) nutritional yeast
- 3 Tbsp fresh sage, minced (do not omit, and dice a little extra for garnish)
- 1 1/2 tsp dried oregano
- 1/2 tsp dried sage
- 1 tsp sea salt
- 1/8 tsp black pepper
- 1/4 cup vegan parmesan, plus additional 1/4 cup for topping
- 1 lemon, juiced (2 Tbsp juice)
- 1 tsp baking spice mix (can also use pumpkin pie spice mix)
- 3 Tbsp organic maple syrup
- 1/2 cup organic pumpkin puree
- 2 cups cashew béchamel
Preheat oven to 350°
Cook pasta according to package directions. Be sure not to overcook! Drain and set aside.
After the tofu has been pressed, crumble and add to a food processor. Add nutritional yeast, fresh sage, oregano, dry sage, vegan parmesan, lemon juice, salt, and pepper.
Pulse until ingredients begin to combine into a ball stage. Remove from the food processor and add to a medium-size bowl. Fold in pumpkin puree, maple syrup, and baking spice mix—taste for salt. Mix well.
Give the pasta noodles a good rinse (they might be a little sticky). Shake off excess water. In a 9″x12″ glass baking dish, spread 1 cup of béchamel sauce on the dish’s bottom.
Carefully remove a conch shell and place it in the palm of your hand. Gently squeeze each pasta shell until it opens. Using about 2 Tbsps of filling, fill each shell until your pan is full.
Drizzle with remaining 1 cup béchamel sauce, being sure to coat all of the noodles well. If using, top with additional parmesan cheese.
Bake for 20-25 minutes. Turn oven up to broil and carefully watch until the parmesan cheese has melted and lightly browned, about 2 minutes. (Be careful not to walk away from a broiler as it can burn very quickly).
Let cool and plate. Drizzle shells with remaining béchamel sauce from pan.
Taste for salt and pepper.
*Be sure to check your pasta label for eggs.
UPDATE:**I walked away from the broiler one hour after writing this. Sheeshhh.
- Serving Size: 6
- Calories: 224
- Sodium: 390
- Fat: 4.3g
- Saturated Fat: 0.6g
- Carbohydrates: 34.5 g
- Fiber: 2.8
- Protein: 13.6 g
- Cholesterol: 0