Search This Blog

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Mushroom Agnolotti in Butternut Squash and Pesto Sauce (Vegan)

Because I had made a significant amount of that roasted butternut squash soup last week, in addition to some delicious leftovers, I decided to make a hearty vegan pasta sauce from it as well.

In my opinion, a butternut squash base can really be paired with multiple flavours in order to make a decent sauce.  I toyed with some ideas like cumin, paprika, cilantro, ginger, even tomato and garlic.  For some reason sage is a favourite with squashes; myself I associate sage so strongly with things like turkey and stuffing that I find I rarely use it in other dishes.  I did strongly consider it though, because a butter sage pasta sauce is definitely one of the 'other dishes', and is quite delicious.  

In the end, I went with a vegan pesto.  

I thought the nuttiness would go well with the squash, and the sharp licoricey and citrusy notes would contrast perfectly.

Plus it was super easy.


In case you're wondering, a vegan pesto is simply one that doesn't include the cheese.  I love cheese, but honestly, I've never really noticed it (or its absence) in pesto. There are such strong flavours happening in there already that I actually think it isn't needed.  So, I guess that means I prefer vegan pesto. 

There actually are a tonne of vegan pestos out there.  Plus they can be quite easy to make yourself. When I make my own I like to use some nut other than pine nuts, simply because they are so damned expensive (and can be hard to find organic).  Walnuts and almonds both make decent pesto, are good for you, and (for me anyway) a little easier to find.  Don't forget that you don't have to use basil, either!  Any fresh green herb works well.  I personally love my parsley, almond and avocado oil pesto.

I still classify this as a 'leftover' dish.  Everything was already made and in containers in the fridge (save the pasta).

So, while normally I would totally start with the sauce prep, I got to skip all of that and just start by boiling some pasta.  The mushroom agnolotti I used was fresh, so it only needed a few minutes to cook.

While the pasta was draining, I just used the same pot to heat the sauce.

First the butternut squash soup.

And then a generous amount of vegan pesto.

That only took a couple of minutes to heat up, and then I added a splash of olive oil, tossed in the pasta, and served.

Super duper easy.

And quite delicious.