Pasta with Kale Pesto and Roasted Butternut Squash

Time to use the first of the butternut squash from my garden.  

It was “parents night out”, with Cam spending the evening at Tae Kwan Do. So, our version of night out – a good dinner, a walk with the dog, and a movie rental.  We finally watched The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel – what a treat!

But I digress; our dinner was so pretty and colorful.  And equally tasty.  This was a another great recipe from Melissa Clark. I have really been enjoying trying her recipes.

Pasta with Kale Pesto and Roasted Butternut Squash

By Melissa Clark

1 ½ pounds butternut squash (from the garden)½ cup extra virgin olive oil, more for drizzling

¾ teaspoon kosher salt, more for squash

Freshly ground black pepper

1 small bunch (about 1/2 pound)lacinato kale, center ribs removed

8 ounces pasta (penne rigate works well)

cup toasted pine nuts

2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped (from the garden)

Finely grated zest of 1 lemon

Freshly squeezed lemon juice, to taste

Grated Parmesan cheese, for serving


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Use a vegetable peeler to peel squash, then halve it lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Dice squash flesh into 1-inch pieces, place on a baking sheet, and toss with olive oil and season generously with salt and pepper. Spread pieces into an even layer, making sure there is space between them.Roast, stirring squash pieces once or twice, until golden brown and tender, about 30 minutes.Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil; have ready a bowl of ice water. Drop kale into boiling water and cook for 45 seconds. Use tongs or slotted spoon to transfer kale to ice water.Bring water in pot back to a boil, adding more if necessary so there is enough to cook pasta. When water in pot comes back to a boil, cook pasta according to package directions.

Drain kale well, then wrap tightly in a dry kitchen towel and squeeze thoroughly to remove any excess moisture. Roughly chop leaves.

In a food processor, pulse together kale, nuts, garlic, salt and lemon zest until mixture is smooth and salt has dissolved. With motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until fully incorporated. Taste and add more salt dissolved in a little lemon juice, if necessary.

Drain pasta, reserving a little cooking water. Toss pasta with kale pesto and some pasta cooking water if necessary to help it coat pasta. Add cheese, lemon juice and salt to taste.Serve topped with squash and more cheese and Enjoy!

Serves 3.



Let me know what you think of this post, and if you try the recipe, please let me know how it was and any suggestions you have. Thanks, Andrea

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