Creamy, Vegan Risotto Pasta with Lemon, Asparagus and Pumpkin

Type of meal: Main Meal

This was originally meant to just be a creamy pasta sauce, but I actually had a leftover batch of red quinoa, freekah and brown rice that I made for another meal previously, so I thought I’d include it. The result, a creamy risotto style pasta that is absolutely divine.

In all honesty, this recipe inspired by Detoxinista is the best white pasta sauce I’ve tasted, and better yet, it’s vegan and cholesterol free. The sauce itself is also gluten and lactose free, so you can mix it up with your choice of gluten-free pasta and have a tasty gluten-free meal.

My version doesn’t look quite as good as the original I don’t think, but man does it taste good!

Creamy, Vegan Lemon, Asparagus and Pumpkin Pasta
Serves 8
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Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
Prep Time
15 min
Cook Time
40 min
Total Time
55 min
379 calories
73 g
0 g
4 g
14 g
2 g
308 g
472 g
6 g
0 g
2 g
Nutrition Facts
Serving Size
Amount Per Serving
Calories 379
Calories from Fat 34
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 4g
Saturated Fat 2g
Trans Fat 0g
Polyunsaturated Fat 1g
Monounsaturated Fat 1g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 472mg
Total Carbohydrates 73g
Dietary Fiber 7g
Sugars 6g
Protein 14g
Vitamin A
Vitamin C
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your Daily Values may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.
  1. 3 tsp coconut oil
  2. 3 tsp minced garlic
  3. 500g cauliflower florets (about half an average size cauliflower)
  4. 1 cup of water
  5. 1/3 cup almond milk
  6. 3 tbsp fresh lemon juice
  7. 1.5 teaspoons salt
  8. Freshly ground black pepper
  9. 1 salad onion
  10. 1 bunch asparagus
  11. 300g pumpkin (roasted)
  12. 1/2 cup red quinoa
  13. 1/2 cup freekah
  14. 1/2 cup brown rice
  15. 500g wholemeal pasta
Preparation Directions
  1. Pre-heat oven to 180°C / 350°F.
  2. Chop the pumpkin up into very small pieces, it's ok if they borderline on slices.
  3. Put some baking paper on an oven tray and put the pumpkin pieces on it with 1 teaspoon of coconut oil spread out among the pieces.
  4. Put the pumpkin tray into the oven and cook for 30 minutes or until the pumpkin is very soft and is turning golden. Set aside once done.
  5. Prepare the quinoa, freekah and rice according to the packet. I put them in a rice cooker all together with 3 cups of water. Set aside once done.
  6. Prepare the pasta according to the packet. Set aside once done.
Sauce Directions
  1. Melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil in a large pot over medium heat and add the minced garlic.
  2. Sauté until fragrant or for about 1 minute.
  3. Add in the cauliflower florets with 1 cup of water, and bring it to a boil.
  4. Cover the pot with a lid and reduce the heat to a simmer. The aim is to steam the cauliflower for about 10 to 15 minutes or until it is soft enough to easily stick a fork through it.
  5. Once the cauliflower is steamed, transfer the cauliflower and all the liquid from the pot into a blender or food processor.
  6. Add the almond milk, lemon juice and salt. If you like pepper, add it to taste at this point as well.
  7. Blend the cauliflower and liquids until it is silky smooth and you are happy with the taste then set aside.
  8. Chop the salad onion as large or fine as you like.
  9. In the same large pot you used for the garlic and cauliflower, melt 1 teaspoon of coconut oil over medium heat.
  10. Add the onion to the pot and sauté for 5 minutes.
  11. Remove the woody ends from the asparagus and chop the remainder into pieces about 3cm long.
  12. Add the asparagus to the pot, and continue sautéing until tender.
  13. Add in the cooked quinoa, freekah and rice mixture and pasta.
  14. Pour the creamy cauliflower sauce into the pot and mix.
  15. Add the roasted pumpkin.
  16. Serve.
Hubby Tip 1
  1. You can include the cauliflower stem with the florets, just make sure it is very soft and you can stick a fork through it.
Hubby Tip 2
  1. When you blend the cauliflower it will be hot and steamy, so be aware of potential pressure build up. To avoid this while avoiding any potential spray, you can put a tea towel over the hole in the lid. Just remember to be careful, steam burns can be nasty!
Hubby Tip 3
  1. The rice, quinoa and freekah mix really thickens up the sauce and makes it very filling. If you want a runnier sauce, leave out the rice, quinoa and freekah. Or if you would like a risotto style meal, leave out the pasta.
Adapted from Detoxinista
Adapted from Detoxinista
Hubby Cooks

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Matt is a busy hubby that loves sweets and dairy products. He has recently learned he has despression and high cholesterol, and with a history of heart disease in the family, it is time to do something about it. He is on a mission to find and cook healthy, low or no cholesterol food that will not only taste good but help you feel good too.

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