Pasta shells & Almond Start pesto

Pasta shells & Almond Start pesto

Serves 4 | prep time 55 min | oven time 45 minutes | total time 55 minutes


  • 1 small pumpkin (475 g flesh)
  • 25 sage leaves, roasted
  • 3 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • almond or oat milk, 50 ml (or more)
  • 30 sea shell pasta 
  • almond flakes, roasted 
  • for the sauce 
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 onion, sliced
  • ½ red pepper, thinly sliced
  • 10 g of fresh Italian herbs, thyme, rosemary and oregano 
  • 2 garlic cloves, minced
  • 3 cans or peeled tomatoes (3 X 400 g)
  • for the pesto
  • 2 garlic cloves, roasted
  • 50 g raw cashew nuts, welled
  • 50 g raw pine nuts, roasted
  • 2 tbsp Abbot Kinney’s Almond Start
  • 1 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
  • 4 tbsp noble yeast 
  • 15 g of fresh basil 
  • 1 big lemon, zest 
  • pinch of salt
  • You’ll need: parchment paper, food processor, big serving dish 



  1. Preheat the oven to 220 ° C degrees and line baking sheet with parchment paper. Cook around ½ Liter of water to well the cashew nuts (for the pesto), set aside. Drain after 30 minutes.
  2. Cut the pumpkin in half, remove the seeds with a spoon. Cut into 8 parts, put them on the parchment paper together with two garlic cloves (don’t remove the skin!). Rub in with some olive oil, use a brush for a nice thin coating. Slide into the oven for 30 minutes. Get the garlic out after 20 minutes, might be handy to use a timer!
  3. In the meantime prepare the sauce: put a big casserole on medium heat. Add the olive oil and onion and fry for 4 minutes. Add the red pepper and fry for another 4 minutes. Then switch to low heat and add the Italian herbs and garlic, while stirring, fry for 3 minutes. Add the tomatoes and let it boil for around 10 minutes.
  4. Roast separately: the almonds (to garnish) and the pine nuts (for the pesto) in a dry frying pan, until golden brown.
  5. Line a baking sheet with parchment paper and put the sage leaves on the paper, coat with some olive oil and sprinkle a pinch of salt on top. As soon as the pumpkin comes out of the oven, slide the sage in and switch the oven to 170 ° C degrees. After around 12-15 minutes it should be nice and crispy, take it out and set aside.
  6. Push the inner side of the 2 garlic cloves (you’ve roasted together with the pumpkin) out of the skin into a food processor. Follow with all the other ingredients for the pesto . Blend until you’ve got a nice pesto. Move to a bowl.
  7. As soon as the pumpkin is cooled down a bit, just enough to hold it: remove the skin and move into the food processor. Add the almond milk and 3 tablespoons or extra virgin olive oil and blend into a nice and smooth puree.
  8. Cook the pasta shells, following instructions on package. Take them out al dente, that’s around 2 minutes earlier than indicated.
  9. Fill the shells with a tablespoon or pumpkin puree and a teaspoon of the pesto. Move the hot tomato sauce into the serving dish. From the middle, put the shells in star form onto the sauce. Garnish with some almond flakes and crispy sage.