Sunday, February 13, 2011

Squash Kale and Red Onion Pasta

I used to operate under the impression that every post here should take hours upon hours of planning, preparation and execution, resulting in a perfectly posed photograph of a plate that looks more like art than dinner.

However, as I continue on my simultaneous quest to feed my family and create content for this blog I have decided that not everything posted here has to be incredibly intricate, detailed and/or time consuming. In fact, every day life meals aren't that at all.

I have taken that to heart, preparing nutritious, fun and mostly simple meals that are also beautiful. Sometimes plates are artfully stacked, each ingredient precariously teetering on the next and finished with a sauce that took days to simmer. Sometimes it is a beautifully simple plate. Always clean but not necessarily much more.

My point is some of the most beautiful and perfect meals are simple. And that's ok. I love Everyday Food magazine for inspiration. It is one of two that I like to peruse for inspiration. Rarely do I prepare a meal verbatim; firstly that's boring. Second, vegan meals are not in abundance in those 'inspiration' magazines. I like it that way though. It allows me the opportunity to not only get creative and 'make it better', it allows me to veganize by myself which is a big part of the fun.

This recipe came from Everyday Food and we loved it so much I have made it twice. A 'twice' meal doesn't happen very often in our household. This one though? You can't beat the combination of simple, colorful, flavorful.

The sage is warm and inviting, the roasted squash and onions bring a sweet, roasty burst and the addition garlic and kale (one of my favorite ingredients) add more flavor and color.

Adapted from Everyday Food Magazine's roasted red onion and squash pasta.

1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced into about 1/4-1/2 inch strips
1 medium butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4 inch pieces
2 Tablespoons sage leaves, coarsely chopped
Extra virgin olive oil
Sea salt
Fresh ground black pepper
4 cloves garlic, smashed or chopped fine
About 1/2 bunch fresh kale, de-stemmed and leaves chopped
1/2 package small gnocci shell pasta or other medium sized pasta

Preheat oven to 450.

Combine onion, squash and sage on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil then sprinkle sea salt and ground black pepper. Roast about 10 minutes in oven then rotate pan and roast another 10 minutes.

While veg is roasting, heat a little more olive oil in a pan on med/high heat. Add garlic and cook for 1-2 minutes then add the chopped kale leaves. Stir to combine, reduce heat to low, cover and let soften, stirring every few minutes to promote even cooking.

In a large pot, bring salted water to a boil for your pasta. Cook pasta according to directions, keeping it a little al dente.

Once pasta is done, strain, reserving a bit of the pasta water. Add pasta to kale and stir to combine.

Once veg is done, remove from oven and add to the kale/pasta combination. Stir gently to prevent breaking up the veg too much. Add a little of the pasta water to create a thin sauce. Taste and add a little salt and pepper if you desire.

Plate into a low bowl or onto a plate. Serve alongside a gorgeous fresh green salad.

The original recipe from Everyday Food had a cheese topping which I think is completely unneccessary. Not only is this meal flavorful enough in and of itself, the cheese, I imagine, would drown out the delicious flavors that are naturally occurring. Just my opinion.


Butternut Squash


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