Spring at the moment feels still so far away as London has been so cold and grey. I have been feasting on comfort food as the temperatures don’t seem to raise at all. This pasta dish is the perfect easy to throw together dish packed with warm and delicious flavours. The sweetness of the squash perfectly balanced the natural bitterness of the kale and the chopped walnuts add a delicious crunch. Sprinkle on top some vegan parmesan if you have some in the fridge!
1/2 of a butternut squash (around 400gr) deseeded, peeled and chopped into cubes
2 shallots – cut into quarters
150gr of curly kale – destemmed and roughly chopped
1 fat garlic clove – crushed
Few sprigs of rosemary
1 tsp of dijon mustard
1 tbsp of nutritional yeast
A small handful of walnuts – roughly chopped
2 tbsp of oil for roasting + 1 for cooking the kale
Plenty of salt and pepper to taste
Optional: a sprinkle of chilli flakes
Note: for this recipe I have used paccheri pasta but if you can’t find them penne, fusilli or maccheroni will work as well.
Turn the oven on at 180 degrees Celsius. Add the butternut squash cubes and shallots to a roasting tray together together with the rosemary. Drizzle with the olive oil, salt and pepper. Give the tray a good shake so everything is coated. Roast in the oven for 25 minutes until the butternut squash is soft.
In the meantime add the remaning oil to frying pan together with the crushed garlic. Sautee for few minutes then add the chopped kale. Cook for another 3-4 minuets until the kale is wilted. Make sure to keep stirring to prevent the garlic from burning.
Cook the pasta according to the packet’s instructions.
Transfer half of the butternut squash cubes (not the shallots) into a bowl and add in the mustard, nutritional yeast and 4 tablespoons of the pasta cooking water. Mash everything up with a fork until you have some kind of puree.
Drain the pasta and tip it into the frying pan with the kale. Add in the butternut squash puree, roasted butternut squash cubes and shallots and mix everything well. Serve with the crushed walnuts, some black pepper and some chilli flakes (if using).