This recipe comes to you from my cozy house on this chilly day after a full evening of raking leaves and trying to figure out something quick for dinner. I may be the only person who is fine with the fact that it’s dark after 4:00 every day, but there’s something so nice and cozy about my little house in the autumn. It’s the perfect weather for hot apple cider, good movies, and a tasty fall vegetable pasta.
I’ve been looking for a ways to eat fall and winter vegetables in all my meals in an effort to eat seasonally. There are a trillion ways to use butternut squash, but roasting it and putting it in a pasta is probably my favorite. Plus I always have a bunch of kale in the fridge, and I am glad to turn it into something besides the usual leftovers with fried rice. Let’s get real, though. The real star of this show are the caramelized onions. It makes this pasta the perfect balance of sweet and salty. It’s about as easy as roasting the squash, caramelizing the onions in butter and then throwing in some pasta. There’s no better weeknight recipe. See the full recipe below. Let me know what you think!
PASTA WITH CARAMELIZED ONIONS, BUTTERNUT SQUASH, AND KALE
1 butternut squash
1 red onion
1 lb penne pasta
1 bunch of kale
2 tbsp olive oil
4 tbsp butter
parmesan cheese for grating
Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 425 F. Slice both ends off the butternut squash. Peel the thick skin off the squash with a vegetable peeler or a knife. Cut the squash in half longways. Remove the seeds using a spoon. Cut the squash into one inch cubes. Drizzle 1 tbsp of olive oil on a large baking sheet. Add the squash and toss in the oil to coat. Sprinkle with salt. Bake for 30 minutes.
Remove the leaves from the kale and discard the stems. Roughly chop.
Bring a large pot of water to boil. Add the penne and boil for 11 minutes or until al dente. Reserve 1/2 cup pasta water and set aside. Drain and set aside, tossing in some olive oil to keep from sticking together.
Slice the ends off the onion. Cut the onion in half longways. Remove the outer skin. Slice crosswise very thinly. In a large saucepan, add the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally for 15 minutes or until onions are browned and caramelized.
Move the onions to the side of the pan and in the same pan, add the butter. Let the butter melt and toast for a couple minutes until it begins to brown. Incorporate the onions into the mixture and add the kale. Cook, stirring for about 2 minutes, until the kale is wilted slightly. Add the squash to the mixture, mixing. Add the pasta water to the sauce and mix. Add the penne and incorporate everything. Add salt and pepper to taste. Serve topped with grated parmesan cheese.