Orecchiette with Roasted Butternut Squash and Kale is a hearty, vegetarian dish that comes together quickly – perfect for weeknights – and is packed with healthy ingredients and nutrition.
Brad and I have been together for a little over three years and living together for about two. We rarely fight, our values are very similar and we have a lot of the same aspirations and goals for our futures.
Sounds perfect, right?
This is where I’m going to tell you that my boyfriend is a picky eater.
Although he is very good about trying new things or eating around the offending ingredient, there are certain things that are straight up off-limits: avocado, mushrooms, beans, quinoa, and — you know where I’m going with this — roasted butternut squash and kale.
In contrast, I will eat just about anything except for the combination of peanut butter and chocolate. There are a lot of things I’m not especially fond of (ham, oranges, popcorn are all foods I could live without) but there are few ingredients that I’ll refuse to eat when they appear in a composed dish full of other things that I like.
Even though Brad refused to touch this dish with a ten-foot pole I made it for a TV segment I was doing on the local CBS affiliate here.
It is the epitome of fall and I highly recommend it to anyone who has the roasted butternut squash gene in their DNA.
- 3 cups cubed butternut squash
- 4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
- Salt and pepper, for seasoning
- ⅛ teaspoon crushed red pepper
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
- 1 red onion, sliced thinly
- ½ pound orecchiette
- 2 large cloves garlic, minced
- 2 cups chicken broth, divided
- 1 bunch kale
- Preheat oven to 425° F. Toss all but 1 cup of the butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, a pinch of crushed red pepper, and the nutmeg. Roast until butternut squash pieces are tender and caramelized, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon olive oil in a medium saucepan over low heat. Cook sliced red onions until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Set aside.
- Heat a pot of water over high heat until boiling. Salt water generously. Cook orecchiette according to package instructions until al dente.
- Meanwhile, heat another tablespoon of olive oil in a heavy pan over medium-high heat. Cook the remaining cup of butternut squash for approximately 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for another minute. Using a ladle or ½ cup measuring cup, add the chicken broth in small batches and cook until broth is almost completely absorbed.
- Remove the middle stems from the kale and roughly chop the leaves. Add kale to butternut squash and stir until kale has softened. Add caramelized red onions.
- Pour in white wine and cook for 2 minutes. Add remaining chicken broth and reduce, about 10 minutes.
- When the pasta is al dente, add it to the pan with the sauce. Add the roasted butternut squash.
- Loosen sauce with pasta water if needed. Sprinkle with sage, and Parmigiano Reggiano cheese.