Tuscan Wheatear Pasta and Vegetable Stuffed Pumpkin

1 - 5 lb. pumpkin
1 1/2 cups onion, cut into half moons
1 T. garlic, minced
1 T. ginger, minced
2 T. olive oil
1 cup summer squash, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 cup zucchini, cut in half lengthwise, and thinly sliced
1 bunch Swiss chard, leaves and stems roughly chopped
1 cup baby bella mushrooms, washed, halved, and thinly sliced
1 - 28 oz. can crushed tomatoes
3 cups vegetable stock
1/2 t. salt
1/4 t. freshly ground black pepper
1 cup Wheatear-shaped pasta (or other vegetable or grain-shaped pasta)
1 - 15 oz. can baby butter beans, drained, and rinsed
1/4 cup freshly chopped basil
1/4 cup freshly chopped Italian parsley
2 T. nutritional yeast flakes

Using a sharp knife, cut the top off the pumpkin and set it aside. Cut along the inside of the pumpkin to loosen the flesh from the outer shell of the pumpkin. Use a combination of a sturdy spoon and the knife to remove the seeds and as much of the flesh as possible, keeping the outer shell of the pumpkin intact. Separate the flesh from the seeds, cut the pumpkin flesh into 1-inch cubes, and set them aside. The pumpkin seeds can be washed and toasted for a tasty snack or discarded. Replace the lid on the pumpkin shell, place it on a cookie sheet, and bake it at 350 degrees for 45-55 minutes or until it is tender on the inside.

In a large saucepan, saute the reserved pumpkin cubes, onion, garlic, and ginger in the olive oil for 7-10 minutes or until softened. Add the summer squash and zucchini, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the Swiss chard and mushrooms, and saute an additional 2 minutes. Add the crushed tomatoes, vegetable stock, salt, and pepper, and bring mixture to a boil. Add the pasta, cover, reduce heat to low, and simmer for 10 minutes or until pasta is al dente. Add the remaining ingredients and cook an additional 2 minutes to heat through.

When the baked pumpkin shell is tender, remove it from the oven, transfer it carefully to a large platter, and remove the lid. Fill the pumpkin shell with the pasta-vegetable mixture, replace the lid slightly ajar on top of the shell, and serve immediately.

Serves 6-8


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