Heat a large pot of water and a pinch of salt to boiling for the pasta. Cook the pasta according to directions and drain, RESERVING ABOUT ¾ CUPS OF THE PASTA WATER.
To Make the Pumpkin Pasta Sauce
To a food processor or blender, and add the tofu, pumpkin puree, nutritional yeast, lemon juice, garlic powder, onion powder, sea salt and nutmeg. Process on low, about 15-30 seconds, scraping down the sides as needed.
To Assemble your Pasta Dish
Pour the pumpkin sauce from the food processor into the pot you used to cook the pasta. On medium heat, warm the sauce gently but don't boil. Add reserved pasta water if needed to thin the sauce. Add the pasta to the sauce and cook a few minutes until hot.
If desired, garnish with toasted walnuts and/or crushed red pepper flakes.
To Make the Optional Sauteed Mushrooms & Sage (See Notes)
Heat about 1 tablespoon of water in a large skillet. Add the shallot and garlic, and saute about 3-4 minutes or until soft.
Add the sliced mushrooms, and stir to mix. If using white wine, add it to the pan when the mushrooms are just beginning to cook. Cook the mushrooms on medium-high heat until they've released most of their liquid, about 8-10 minutes.
Add the chopped sage and saute another 3-4 minutes.
Mix the mushrooms right into the pasta and sauce, or pile them on top.
Nutritional information shown for pasta with sauce only.
I really enjoy this pumpkin pasta dish with veggies on top. However, for a simple 20-minute meal, you can skip the sauteed veggies and just whip up a quick batch of pumpkin pasta sauce while your pasta is cooking. If you'd like to include the wine, you can add it right to the pumpkin pasta sauce and simmer on medium-low about 5 minutes to cook off the alcohol.
If you're making the mushrooms and sage, get these going first as they take longer than the pasta sauce. Plus, it's easier to reheat the mushrooms (if needed) than the sauce, which can get too thick if overcooked.
You can use either soft or firm (but not extra firm) silken tofu for this sauce. If using firm, you may need to add more pasta water to achieve the desired consistency.
I like to keep some pasta water set aside and add to any leftovers, as the sauce will tend to thicken as it cools. If you forget to reserve the pasta water (can't count how many times I've done this!), just use a bit of regular hot tap water or broth instead.
Make sure to choose a whole wheat, legume or brown rice pasta to make it WFPB compliant.