Tuesday 15 November 2011

PPN hurry up pumpkin alfredo with pea and lentil salad

Friday night is a night that I am low on energy.  I don't want too much cooking.  I just want to eat.  Fast!  So I finally made Vegan Yum Yum's Hurry Up Alfredo last Friday.  I felt a failure when it tasted too strong with a thin sauce that wouldn't hug the pasta.  Fortunately I believe pumpkin will fix any meal.  I mashed some pumpkin, stirred it in and dinner was fantastic.

Here is how it looked when I added the original sauce (Can you even see a sauce?  Did I do something wrong?):

Here is how it looked after stirring in the pumpkin (you can't go wrong with pumpkin!):

Scrumdidliumptious.  The pumpkin added the right amount of sweetness to combat the strong seasoning.  It also added enough extra vegetables to make it a satisfying meal.  E loved it but Sylvia turned up her nose.  I think it was more popular than my recent cauliflower alfredo.  Great with asparagus.

We had leftovers too.  The following night I chopped up some tomatoes and made a Warm Pea and Lentil Salad.  It is a great store cupboard salad, full of flavours and texture, that can be whipped up quickly.  The leftover salad sat in the fridge for two days and was great with sausages last night.

I am sending the pasta sauce to HoneyB of The Live and Loves of Grumpy's HoneyBunch for Presto Pasta Nights #240, a great pasta event coordinated by Ruth of Once Upon a Feast.

Previously on Green Gourmet Giraffe
This time last year: Tofu Scramble
This time two years ago: PPN Sausages Pasta, Garden and Global Warming
This time three years ago: NCR Pumpkin and Tofu Laksa
This time four years ago: Fantastic Falafels

Hurry up pumpkin alfredo
Adapted from Vegan Yum Yum
serves 3-4

3 cups of any small pasta shapes
1 cup soymilk (I used dairy)*
1/3 cup raw unsalted cashews
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
2 tbsp tamari (soy sauce)*
2 tbsp vegan margarine
1 tbs tahini
1 tbsp lemon juice
2 tsp seeded mustard
1/4 tsp smoked paprika
1 shake cayenne pepper
1 pinch nutmeg
2-4 cloves of garlic (optional - can't remember if I used it)
black pepper, to taste
400g pumpkin*

Put pasta on to cook according to the instructions on the packet (simmer about 10 minutes).  Blend cashews with remaining ingredients, except pumpkin.  It took me a few minutes until I felt it was smooth enough.  I did this in my blender attachment for my hand held blender which is small and there was just a little leaking because it was so full.  Peel, trim and cook pumpkin (I did mine in chunks in a tub in the microwave).  Once pasta is cooked, drain and return to saucepan.  Tip in the sauce from the blender.  Puree pumpkin in blender and stir in to saucepan.  (Or if you have a larger blender you can blend sauce and pumpkin together.  Check seasoning.  Serve warm with green vegetables or salad.

*Update March 2012 - made this again and only added 1 tbsp tamari and 1/2 cup soy milk and it made a lovely alfredo sauce without the pumpkin - but it needed the extra 1 tbsp of tamari once I added the pumpkin - though I think I still could have used a bit less milk.

Warm pea and lentil salad
Adapted from Nigel Slater's recipe in Delicious Magazine
serves 4 on the side

400g brown lentils, drained (0r cook 200g dried brown lentils)
200g peas (I used frozen)
1 spring onion
juice of 1 lemon
handful of mint leaves from the garden, shredded
pinch salt
lots black pepper
slurp of olive oil (about 1 tbsp)

Lightly steam peas in microwave.  Drain and rinse lentils.  I rinsed mine in boiling water so the salad would be warm.  Mix peas and lentils with all ingredients in a medium salad bowl.  Serve warm.

On the Stereo:
Angels in the Architecture: Various Artists


  1. Too bad the sauce wasn't good in its original form. Great idea to add pumpkin to fix it! That lentil and pea salad sounds yummy. I love both peas and lentils but don't often think to combine them.

  2. This looks like a great Friday night dinner. I also don't feel like cooking then and am very grateful that it's my partner's one night of cooking for the week. It works well :)

  3. What a good fix!

    I've often thought of trying this alfredo, but have been put off by the fact that people either LOVE or HATE it. My favourite alfredo is Bryanna Clark Grogan's white sauce, with a few additions. So classic, so clean.. Mmm!

  4. I love creamy pasta sauces with pumpkin! And I wasn't a big fan of that alfredo recipe either, but I would try it with pumpkin in it!

  5. I'm glad you made it work by adding pumpkin. I can't actually remember how the original tastes but I recall one of the first changes I made was to add some more soy milk as there didn't seem to be enough sauce. I have strayed away from the recipe so much over time that it probably isn't even an alfredo I am making!

  6. It all sounds wonderful and a perfect use for the frozen pumpkin I was just wondering what to do with. Thanks for sharing with Presto Pasta Night.

  7. I haven't tried that recipe yet but have looked at it several times. I'm not sure about Grumpy so I haven't dared. Now you have my curiosity peaked about how it might turn out for me. I do love the addition of pumpkin! Gives it a lot more color and I'm sure a great punch of flavor. Thanks for participating this week!

  8. Hehe yes indeedy! Pumpkin definitely looks like it fixes everything! :D

  9. I am a huge fan of pumpkin, so I am sure I would love your version of this dish.

  10. Thanks Ashley - always love some extra veg in a sauce - or salad! peas and lentils means substantial with enough greens to lighten it

    Thanks Kari - you are lucky to get a night off on Friday - I keep thinking we should get takeaway on fridays but there is always veg to be used

    Thanks Mattheworbit - I think that my problem is that I don't make creamy sauces often so can't remember the ones I have made before and end up trying a new one

    Thanks Love - hope you enjoy it more with the pumpkin

    Thanks Mel - you must have made it quite a bit - great to make a sauce your own - are you going to post your version - would be interested in it - mine was so thin that it was swimming in the bottom of the saucepan

    Thanks Ruth - it is always great to have frozen pumpkin for occasions like these

    Thanks Lisa - indeed

    Thanks Shelby - definitely worth a try - this one worked well with my partner who didn't like the last vegan white sauce I made so it is a good one

    Thanks Lorraine - love pumpkin!

    Thanks Cakelaw - highly recommended for all pumpkin lovers!

  11. I recall making that pasta a couple years ago, but don't remember exactly how it came out--maybe my lack of memory supports your results! I think it would be stellar with the pumpkin, though. It certainly looks great!

  12. Lovely comforting food and great photos to show us how. Cheers for your wonderful blog and I am really glad that I just found it :)


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