18 ounces of lentil pasta (or pasta of your choice)
1-2 tablespoons coconut oil
1/2 white onion, chopped
1/2 jalapeño, chopped (optional)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini, sliced and quartered (**I recommend adding in even more veggies like peas and/or broccoli, for extra veggie goodness)
4 cups kale, ripped to small pieces
1 cup light coconut milk (or unsweetened plain almond milk)
3/4 cup vegetable broth
1 1/2 cups canned pumpkin
2-3 tablespoons tapioca starch (or arrowroot/cornstarch, or flour, to thicken)
1 tablespoon nutritional yeast (optional)
1/2 tablespoon champagne vinegar (or white wine vinegar/apple cider vinegar)
1/2 teaspoon sea salt and black pepper (or more, to taste)
1/2 teaspoon turmeric (for color)
CASHEW BREADCRUMBS (OPTIONAL)
1 cup raw cashews
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 teaspoon sea salt
1 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
1 teaspoon garlic powder
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
Start by boiling water in a pot for the pasta, according to the directions on the box. After its cooked, drain and run under cold water, to prevent from cooking any more.
Next, melt the coconut oil in a medium sized pan, on medium heat. Sauté the onion and jalapeño 4-5 minutes until translucent, adding a pinch of sea salt and pepper, then stir in garlic and cook 2 more minutes. Transfer the onion mixture to a blender and set aside.
In the same pan you cooked the onion, sauté the zucchini until almost fully cooked and slightly browned on the sides, about 7-8 minutes, adding more coconut oil if needed. Then turn off heat and set aside. Prepare the kale by ripping into small pieces and set aside.
Prepare the Pumpkin Sauce by adding all ingredients listed into the blender, alongside the onion mixture. Blend until smooth and creamy, taste testing and adding more tapioca starch or flour as needed, to thicken (but not too much, to avoid chalkiness - 3 tablespoons was enough for me).
Prepare the cashew breadcrumbs by blending all ingredients in a food processor, until crumbly, like the consistency of breadcrumbs.
In a 14" x 8.5" baking pan, pour a very thin layer of Pumpkin Sauce to lightly cover the bottom. Next, add in cooked pasta, zucchini (and any other cooked veggies), kale and the remaining Pumpkin Sauce, and mix with a spoon until the sauce is well combined. Sprinkle with a good layer of breadcrumbs - I used a little more than half of the breadcrumb mixture, and saved the remaining for later.
Cover with foil and cook for 20 minutes. Then remove foil and cook for 10 more minutes, until the top is golden and you can hear bubbling.