Guys... Have you ever heard of Banza Pasta? It’s made completely of chick peas, which I am not typically a fan of in bean form, but love in hummus, falafel AND this pasta! Today was my first time using the penne shaped noodles and needless to say, I am impressed. They held up to the sauce and taste very similar to a whole wheat noodle. Also, did I mention it's gluten free?
This dish is completely vegan, but of course if you are not vegan or dairy free, I put in traditional options as well. You most certainly can use your favorite pasta too. This recipe is completely customizable !
My recipe is a Fall spin on the traditional Penne alla Vodka which uses tomatoes, heavy cream and Parmesan cheese. The pumpkin really adds a nice element that balances beautifully with the tomato paste.
2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
1 large shallot or 1 small onion, chopped
2-3 garlic cloves, minced
2 tbsp tomato paste
1/4-1/2 tsp red pepper flakes
1 15oz can pure pumpin purée (NOT pumpkin pie)
12 oz or 1 box of Banza Penne
1/2 cup Vodka (I used Tito’s)
1/3 cup unsweetened coconut milk (or heavy whipping cream if not dairy free/vegan)
1/4 cup nutritional yeast (or Parmesan cheese if not dairy free/vegan)
Basil leaves (3-5), torn
1. Cook pasta according to box- you will want it in salted, boiling water for 9 minutes (you want this to be el dente)
2. Strain pasta, rinse out pan used to cook and reuse.
3. Heat pot to medium heat and add olive olive, shallot or onion and garlic, stirring to combine. Cover the pot to let the onion sweat a bit, becoming tender for about 8-10 minutes. If it appears to be sticking or too dry, add a tablespoon of water as needed.
4. Once the onion is cooked through, add 1 1/2 tsp of kosher salt, red pepper flakes and the tomato paste and cook for about a minute.
5. Add the vodka and cook out the alcohol for another minute.
6. Add the pumpkin puree, stir and bring to a simmer.
7. Remove from heat and add the coconut milk or heavy cream, stir to combine and add the pasta to finish heating through.
8. If using nutritional yeast, add the full 1/4 cup and the basil and stir to combine. If using Parmesan cheese, put 2 tbsp in the pot with the basil, stir to combine and garnish the 4 bowls with the remaining 2 tbsp.