Pumpkin & Almo Ricotta Pasta Bake

Bathed in a creamy almond béchamel sauce and paired with fragrant sage, this vegan pasta bake proves that pumpkin is anything but boring.

 

Prep: 30 mins (+5-6 hrs soaking) | Cook: 20 mins | Serves: 4

Each jumbo-sized pasta shell envelops a sweet pumpkin and ricotta puree, which when cut open, mingles in a creamy béchamel sauce made from Almo almond milk and crème. The delicate flavours of ricotta are not overpowered by the sweet pumpkin, rather the two highlight one another. 

To make the filling, you’ll need to prepare our Almond Ricotta recipe, which contains just five ingredients and is so easy to prepare. Still, allow time to soak the blanched almonds in water for five to six hours beforehand. Alternatively, soften in hot water for five minutes. 

You’ll also need our Vegan Béchamel recipe, which takes just 15 minutes and adds a rich cheesy flavour to this already delicious dish. We highly recommended serving with fresh sage; the pronounced flavours and slightly peppery taste of this herb balance out the sweet and full-flavoured filling. 

Tip: Hate mess in the kitchen? Use a piping bag to fill the pasta shells or cut the corner off a plastic bag.

Ingredients

1 packet pasta shells

1 1/2 cup pumpkin puree, fresh or canned

3/4 Almond Ricotta (See recipe)

1 cup Almo Béchamel (See Recipe)

Fresh sage and cracked pepper to serve

Method

  1. In a large pot of boiling salted water, pre-cook pasta shells until al-dente; drain well. Transfer to a baking sheet and drizzle with olive oil; set aside and let cool.
  2. Preheat oven to 180°C and lightly grease a baking tray with olive oil.
  3. In a large mixing bowl, combine Almond Ricotta and pumpkin puree. Stir well to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste.
  4. Stuff each pasta shell with 2 tablespoons of the pumpkin and ricotta filling. A piping bag can help to avoid making a mess. 
  5. Spread ½ cup of Almo Bechamel sauce in a baking dish. Arrange shells inside the baking dish and top with additional sauce. 
  6. Bake for 20 minutes or until golden brown. 
  7. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of fresh sage and vegan cheese if desired.