Thursday, February 11, 2010

Roasted Vegetables & Sautéed Kale Pasta

I was at 1550 Hyde  in San Francisco recently and enjoyed a lovely entrée-

ricotta-wild stinging nettle gnocchi:
black chanterelles/ butternut squash/ parsnips/ brown butter/ pistachios

Pleasantly surprised by the radiant green gnocchi, I decided to try to make my own version of this dish sans the labor intensive homemade gnocchi.   My adaptation isn't the quickest weeknight meal but it is worth it if you're feeling ambitious and you'll be rewarded with lots of leftovers.

1 medium butternut squash- peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4 inch cubes
1 large bunch of kale- cleaned, destemmed and roughly chopped
4-5 small portobello mushrooms - cleaned, destemmed, and sliced lengthwise into 1/2 inch strips
1 lb. short pasta
2 cloves of garlic- minced or pressed
1-2 tsp. red pepper flakes (to taste)
kosher salt
freshly ground black pepper
extra virgin olive oil
1+ cup of walnuts- roughly chopped
pecorino romano cheese- grated 

Set oven to 375 degrees F°. Toss the butternut squash with a few tablespoons of olive oil, season with salt and pepper, place in a glass baking dish, and bake until cubes are tender when pricked with a fork, about 35-40 minutes. Toss the squash occasionally to ensure even cooking.  Line the mushrooms on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and bake, turning once, until the mushrooms are tender and starting to brown, about 20-25 minutes. Bring a large pot of water to boil for the pasta.

In a nonstick skillet heat 2-3 tablespoons of olive oil over medium/ medium high heat. Add the red pepper flakes and garlic to the oil and let cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add the kale tossing it to coat it in the oil, sprinkle with 1-2 teaspoons of salt, and partially cover the skillet with a lid. Reduce the heat to medium low and let the kale cook until tender but not limp, stirring occasionally. Place the walnuts on a baking sheet and place in the oven for a few minutes until fragrant and starting to change color. Remove the walnuts from the oven and let cool.  Once boiling, salt the water, add the pasta, and cook until al dente.

Drain the pasta, return to the cooking pot, and toss with olive oil.  Add the kale, squash, and mushrooms to the pasta, tossing gently. Garnish servings with the walnuts and pecorino romano and serve immediately.

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