Creamy Pumpkin Fettucine with “Meatballs” and Carmelized Leeks

There are definitely more and more signs of spring appearing in our cloudy, grey horizons, and we’ve even had a few days of warm weather, but we’re still a while away from the sweet, rejuvenating days of summer and I think, with all that’s going on in the world right now, we could all use some hearty and healthy comfort food.
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As much as vegan cuisine is often admonished for featuring too much pasta, there’s just so many variations and possibilities to play with, that I never really tire of preparing and eating a good heaping bowl of noodles.  I love squash and pasta together, but I thought that I’d try and expand my repertoire by experimenting with another beloved squash variant – pumpkin.  The combination of cream cheese and pumpkin, with just a bit of sugar and spice, makes this sauce almost like a dessert.  Hope you all enjoy this recipe and are staying strong!

Ingredients
(makes 5 to 6 servings)
1 bunch of leeks
1 1/2 tsp of margarine
1 tsp of sugar
1 package of Vegan meatballs (I used Lightlife Plant-Based Meatballs)
2 x 227g containers of vegan cream cheese (I used Tofuti Brand)
1 cup of pure pumpkin
2 tbsp of sugar
1 tsp of cinnamon
1 tsp of ground cloves
1 tsp of nutmeg
1/2 cup of plant-based milk
1 500g package of Fettucine

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Directions
For the Carmelized Leeks and Meatballs:
1.  Chop off the tough ends of the leeks and slice into matchstick width sticks – the more evenly they are cut the more evenly they will cook.
2.  In a large frying pan, melt 1 1/2 tbsp of margarine on high heat.  Add the leeks, and 1 tsp of sugar.  Stir for 1 to 2 minutes and the reduce to medium heat.  Cook until the leeks start to brown and reduce to low.
3.  Cook the veggie meatballs according to package directions in the same or separate frying pan.

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For the Pumpkin Sauce
1.  In a food processor, blend together the 1 cup of pumpkin, 2 tbsp of sugar, 1 tsp of cinnamon, 1 tsp of ground cloves, 1 tsp of nutmeg, and 1/2 cup of plant-based milk.
2 Add the blended sauce into the frying with the leeks.  Keep at low heat.

For the Fettucine
1.  Bring a pot of salted water (about 2 tsp of salt) to a boil.  Reduce to heat to medium add the Fettucine.  Cook until al dente (8 to 10 minutes)

Top the finished pasta with generous portion of the sauce and meatballs and enjoy!
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