Friday, December 14, 2012

Pasta with Roasted Butternut Squash, Crispy Sage, and Kale

Here's a hearty winter pasta dish with roasted squash. Roasting concentrates the sugars in vegetables, so this squash tastes sweet. Many people who ordinarily don't like squash (like my husband) will eat this up and ask for seconds. Adding the sage to the roasting dish lets it become crispy in the oven, rather than using loads of butter to saute them. There's still some butter, for taste, but much less than the usual buttered pasta dish.


1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
12 fresh sage leaves, coarsely chopped
2 tsp olive oil, divided
1/2 pound whole wheat penne pasta
1 tsp butter
1/2 cup chopped sweet onion (or leek or shallot)
1/2 tsp minced garlic
1/4 cup white wine
2 cups chopped kale (or spinach)
2 Tbs chopped fresh leaf parsley
1/4 cup chicken or vegetable broth
several grinds of salt
1/4 cup toasted pine nuts
2 Tbs shredded Parmesan cheese (optional)

Directions: Preheat oven to 400F. Peel and chop the squash. Mix the squash with half of the sage and 1 tsp of the olive oil. Spread the squash mixture on a baking sheet and bake for 20 minutes. Heat a large pot of water, then cook the penne pasta according to package directions. Cook the remaining ingredients while the squash is roasting and the pasta is cooking. Heat the remaining olive oil and butter in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, garlic, and remaining sage and cook for about 5 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Add the white wine, kale, and parsley and continue to cook for another 5 minutes. Add the broth, stirring once or twice to thicken, then remove from the heat. Test the squash for doneness by tasting a piece, it should be tender on the inside. Add the cooked squash mixture to the onion and kale mixture. Drain the pasta, then add it to the vegetables, tossing to mix. Taste, adding salt if needed. Serve, topping with some of the pine nuts and Parmesan cheese.

Total time: 30 minutes

Serves 4

Stealthy Cooking Tip: Cutting back on sodium (salt) intake is one important way to make healthy foods even healthier. Taste before you serve, adjusting the seasoning by adding salt as needed. Dishes with strong tasting herbs, like sage, may surprise you. You'll probably add much less salt than you expect. Keeping salt in the kitchen, and not at the table, assures that diners won't add more salt than necessary.

No comments: