This decadent pumpkin pasta recipe is bursting with flavor and it's so easy to make. It tastes like it took hours to prepare, when actually it takes less than 45 minutes!
Stuffed pasta shells are everything!
Seriously, what could be better than tubes of chewy pasta stuffed with a creamy pumpkin cashew filling?
I'll tell you what could be better. Stuffed manicotti shells topped with slivered shiitake mushrooms browned in vegan butter with fresh sage and thyme, and toasted walnuts. Now we're talking!
If you haven't tried making manicotti stuffed with a savory pumpkin filling, now is the time. Pumpkin is in season and the cooler temperatures are perfect for this comfort food recipe.
WHAT IS MANICOTTI?
For those of you who don't know, manicotti is a tubular shaped pasta shell. In Italy, it means "little muffs" or "little shirtsleeves."
This type of noodle is made for stuffing. The stuffing of choice for this sort of pasta is cheese, or a combination of cheese, red sauce, and a vegetable and/or meaty filling. Or in this case, a creamy pumpkin cream filling made with cashews.
HOW DO YOU MAKE A CREAMY VEGAN PUMPKIN FILLING FOR PASTA?
It's so easy to make a rich and creamy pumpkin filling. All you'll need is a can of pumpkin puree (not pumpkin pie filling), one cup of raw cashews, cashew milk, garlic, dried Italian seasoning, and sea salt and black pepper.
- Boil the cashews in water for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they're puffy and soft. Blanche the garlic in the water for the last two minutes. Drain and rinse the cashews and garlic with cool water and put them in a blender.
2. Add the remaining filling ingredients to the blender and whip it up until it's thick and creamy. You shouldn't be able to detect any solid pieces of the nuts. If you do, keep blending and scraping the sides of the blender.
NOTE: You want this sauce to be thick, not runny. It won't fill the shells if it's too thin.
That's it. Two easy steps to make delicious pumpkin filling.
HOW TO MAKE AND STUFF MANICOTTI PASTA SHELLS
Once you've made the filling, it's time to make the manicotti.
- Bring a pot of water to a boil and add the noodles. Cook according to the instructions on the package, or until they're el dente.
2. While the manicotti noodles are boiling, saute the mushrooms, herbs, and walnuts in the butter.
3. Drain the noodles and line them up in a baking pan. Put the pumpkin filling into a pastry bag or a large plastic bag with the corner snipped off and squeeze the filling into each noodle until they're filled.
4. Evenly spoon the shiitake mushroom, walnut, and browned butter sauce over the top and bake for 15 minutes, or until the centers are hot.
That's all you'll need to do to make this rich and delicious vegan fall pasta recipe.
HOW TO STORE OR FREEZE STUFFED MANICOTTI
You can make this pumpkin manicotti recipe ahead of time. If you're going to serve within a few day, just cover it and put it in the refrigerator and reheat in a 350F oven for about 20 to 25 minutes, or until the center is hot.
You can also freeze them for up to 3 months in a freezer safe container. Just thaw overnight in the refrigerator and heat the same as above.
WHAT TO SERVE WITH STUFFED PUMPKIN MANICOTTI
This is such a savory and rich pasta recipe that we like to serve it with a crisp and light salad to balance it out.
We love this one.
Make this recipe and let us know what you think. We love to hear from you! And, don’t forget to take a picture of your gorgeous creation and tag us @veganosity on Instagram.
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Manicotti Stuffed with a Vegan Pumpkin Cream Filling
- 1 8 oz box of manicotti shells
- 1 cup soaked cashews
- 2 tbsp cashew milk
- 1 15 oz can pumpkin
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp black pepper
- 1 tbsp Dried Italian seasoning
- 3 cloves blanched garlic
- 8 tbsp vegan butter
- 1/4 cup chopped walnuts
- 2 cloves minced garlic
- 2 tbsp minced sage
- 2 tbsp minced thyme
- 1 cup sliced shiitake mushrooms
- 1/2 tsp sea salt or to taste
- Preheat oven to 350°F (176°C)
FOR THE PUMPKIN CREAM FILLING
- Bring a small pot of water to a boil. When the water is boiling add the cashews and boil for 15 to 20 minutes, or until they’re puffy and soft. Add the garlic cloves for the last two minutes of boiling to blanche.
- Drain the cashews and garlic and rinse in cool water. Put them in a food processor or the blender and add the cashew milk, pumpkin, and seasonings and process until smooth and creamy. This should be a thick sauce, not runny.
FOR THE MANICOTTI
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. When the water is boiling, salt the water with approximately 2 tbsp (30 g) of sea salt. This is optional but it yields a great pasta.
- Boil the manicotti until al dente according to box instructions, and drain and spread the noodles out in a baking dish.
FOR THE MUSHROOM TOPPING
- Heat a large skillet on medium high heat and toast (shake the pan frequently to prevent burning) the pecans or walnuts until they release their oil and are aromatic, approximately three minutes to five minutes. They should be slightly browned.
- Remove the nuts from the pan and add the butter. When the butter is melted and lightly bubbling, add the mushrooms and saute for about five minutes, or until they release their water and begin to brown. Add the garlic and herbs, salt and pepper, and the nuts and stir to combine. Cook for another two minutes.
TO FILL THE MANICOTTI
- Fill a pastry bag or a large plastic bag with a corner cut out with the pumpkin filling and squeeze it into the manicotti shells until full.
- Evenly top with the mushroom mixture and cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes, or until the filling is hot in the center.