Weeknight Pasta Recipe!

I've been writing blog posts about cooking with kids, or at least with them in mind, for KidsVT Family Newspaper. I recently posted this recipe for pasta with kale and butternut squash, and I like this dish so much I wanted to share it here as well. It's a great winter weeknight dinner. Hope you like it!

Serves 5

1 lb penne pasta ( whole wheat or semolina)
1 small bunch lacinato kale, tough stems removed, leaves cut into thin strips
1 medium yellow onion, minced
4 cloves garlic, minced
1 small/medium squash (butternut, delicata, or acorn all work well) peeled, seeded, and cut to ½ inch dice
4 Tbsp olive oil, divided
4 oz sharp cheddar cheese, grated
½ cup grated parmesan cheese, divided
Sea salt and black pepper
Dash of nutmeg

Preheat your oven to 400

Cook the pasta according to package directions, drain and set aside in a large mixing bowl.

While the pasta cooks, spread the cubed squash on a sheet pan lined with parchment paper, drizzle with olive oil and put into the hot oven. It should be ready in 15-20 minutes.

While the squash is roasting, sauté the onion in 1 tbsp of olive oil over medium heat until it turns translucent, then add garlic and sauté for another 3 or 4 minutes. Turn off the heat and leave the pan there until you’re ready to add it to the pasta.

Put the prepared kale into another bowl, drizzle 2 tbsp olive oil over it, and massage the oil into the kale with your hands until it starts to soften up – this should only take a minute or two. Sprinkle with a bit of sea salt.

Add the kale, onions and garlic, squash, cheddar cheese and half of the parmesan to the hot pasta and toss to combine. Make sure you get all of the oil and any crispy bits along with the onions/garlic and the squash. Add sea salt to taste, a sprinkle of nutmeg (just a tiny bit, 1/8 of a tsp or less), and a few grinds of pepper and toss again.

Sprinkle the remaining parmesan cheese over the top, lower your oven temp to 375, and pop the pasta in for about ten minutes, until the top is just starting to brown.


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