Sunday, December 12, 2010

Gluten-Free, Vegan Pumpkin Mushroom Baked Fusilli

Bad photo. Good food.

Unprecedented. As promised, another pretty tremendous eats option for all you high maintenance eaters and the people who love them (or are, at the very least, trying not to kill them). 

So I had a whole bunch of leftover pumpkin and random food from the slice of fabulous called a 4 day holiday weekend. As I stared into the fridge void, I remembered making a pumpkin mushroom and sage lasagna featuring lots of creamy ricotta and ricotta salata cheese for friends long, long ago when I actually had the time and dolla, dolla bills to do things like hang out in high-end cheese shops. Inspired by the memory and energized by the notion that I would not be wide awake all night with acid reflux thanks to no dairy and eggs, I put this little dinner together after a day of exercising my couch hugging skills. A glass of organic, sulfite-free syrah (Sounds wicked pretentious, but if you've ever gotten a sulfite/red wine induced migraine, you know where I'm coming from) on the side and we were good to go. At least until dessert.


1 lb box of gluten-free fusilli pasta (or ziti, penne, etc.). Can also be made with regular whole grain pasta
1 cup canned pumpkin (or a little more or less if you've got it)
1 tofu cake, firm
1-2 tblsps olive oil
2-3 portabello mushrooms, chopped into chunks
Fresh sage leaves (approx. 1/4 cup) or 1 tsp dried sage
1/4-1/3 cup sherry vinegar (or veggie stock if you have it)
1 pkg Daiya vegan, soy-free cheese (mozzarella flavor)
Fresh ground pepper
Sea salt

Pre-heat oven to 375 degrees.
Boil water for pasta. When the water comes to a boil, add pasta. Cook until just al dente. Drain pasta and set aside.
Heat olive oil in a sauce pan. Add mushrooms and cook for appox. 5 minutes. Add sage and cook for a minute more. Add sherry vinegar and stir until sauce appears slightly thickened (about 1-2 minutes).
Combine mushrooms with pasta and place in a 13 inch baking pan.
Mash tofu cake in a large bowl until it resembles ricotta cheese. Add pumpkin and stir to combine. Add pepper and salt to taste.
Spread tofu/pumpkin mixture over mushrooms and pasta. Cover top with Daiya cheese. I used the entire package but you can use more or less depending on taste.
Place in oven for approx 20 minutes. Cheese will melt but not brown.
Serve with steamed greens or salad. And wine if you've got it. This also helps to stave off comments from folks who like to talk smack about things like vegan "cheese," etc. until they actually take a bite and realize they never would have guessed it wasn't "real cheese" and that "wow this is actually really good."
Peace out 4 day weekend. How I've loved ye.

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