Pumpkin with meat? It sounds strange, I know. I dreamt of it during a state of hanger while breastfeeding my baby. I had leftover pumpkin puree to use and had been adding it to any and everything and my pasta meat sauce was no exception. Guess what? It turned out perfect. A pumpkin-flavored meat sauce may not be a latte or a pie, but don’t knock it ’til ya try it!
Why we love it
The sauce is hearty and creamy without the use of dairy. Another great option is to try it over half pasta noodles and half zoodles (zucchini noodles) to create a lighter dish and to boost the nutritional value. The pumpkin flavor is not overbearing in any way, adds a wonderful seasonal flavor to the dish, and includes a ton of quality fiber. Most importantly, it easy to make and pleasing the entire family.
Creamy Pumpkin Meat Sauce
1⁄4 cup cashews soaked in 1⁄2 cup boiled water for 30 minutes
1.5 pounds ground meat (I used turkey)
1/3 cup chopped white onion
2 small garlic cloves, minced
3 Tbsp. fresh basil, chopped
398ml can of tomato sauce
1⁄2 cup pure pumpkin puree
Sea salt and black pepper to taste
Soak the cashews in the boiled water and set aside while you prepare the rest of the ingredients.
In a large pan, cook the meat over a medium heat for a few minutes until it starts to brown.
Add the onion and garlic and mix in with the meat. Cook until the meat is done.
Add the basil, tomato sauce, and pumpkin puree and mix thoroughly. Continue to cook on low while you prepare the cashew cream.
Blend the cashews and water in your blender until you have reached a beautiful cream consistency. Pour and stir the cashew cream into the pan with the meat sauce.
Add salt and pepper to taste.
Serve over your favorite pasta.
Try more of our fall-inspired dishes: Spinach, Roasted Kabocha Squash, and Pomegranate Salad, Roasted Vegetable, Kale, and Wild Rice Salad Bowl, and Stuffed Yams with Easy Tahini Sauce.
CHANTAL URBINA is a registered Massage Therapist and Culinary Nutrition Expert. She is passionate about living a life full of health, love, and happiness and that all three start with our diet. “Nature’s healing properties will never cease to amaze me and it inspires me day after day to create and share recipes made with only real whole foods.”