Delicata Squash Pasta with Lacinato Kale and Mozzarella

Baked Pasta with Delicata Squash Sauce, Kale, and Mozzarella

Baked Pasta with Delicata Squash Sauce, Kale, and Mozzarella

Hi all. So, it’s been a while. Work has, unfortunately, been getting in the way of play, so while I’ve still been cooking up a storm, the time I’ve had to actually write down my recipes and post them has been sadly diminished. Still, I had an Instagram follower ask for a recipe the other day, so I thought I could take the time to do a very quick post with that recipe. So here it is! Hopefully I’ll be back someday soon with more recipes. Until then, please follow me on instagram @vonclancy or on twitter @aptepicurean to see what I’m cooking up!

2 small-medium delicata squash
1 lb kale (I used lacinato, which is nice because it holds up well)
12 oz pasta (I would recommend penne because it catches the sauce)
1 tbsp olive oil
1 large shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
½ tsp red pepper flakes
½ tsp dried sage
½ lb mushrooms (button work fine)
Salt and pepper
½ to ¾ cup water
½ lb fresh mozzarella cheese, cut into ½ inch cubes
1/3 cup parmesan
a pinch of nutmeg

Wash the outside of the squash and pierce them a few times with a sharp knife. Wrap them in tin foil and put them in a slow cooker. Cook on low for 6-7 hours (depending the size of the squash). Remove from the slow cooker and let them cool (I let them set in the slow cooker on the “warm” setting for a few hours because I put it on before I went to work and it automatically switches to that – it worked fine). Note: you can cook the squash however you want – you just want it soft and mashable. This is just a really convenient way to cook winter squash (I’ve done it with spaghetti squash and butternut squash as well).

Heat oven to 350 degrees. Spray an 8×11 pyrex casserole dish with cooking spray.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Add the kale and cook for five minutes until vibrant green but still crisp/tender. Remove and put in a bowl of cold water to stall the cooking process. Bring the water back up to a boil.

In a medium pot over medium heat, heat 2 tsps – 1 Tbsp of olive oil. Add the shallots and garlic and cook, stirring often until the shallots are just starting to turn translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the red pepper flakes, mushrooms, and sage. Cook for another 5 minutes until the mushrooms have released their liquid. Salt and pepper to taste and remove from heat.

Cut the (now cooled) squash in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and stringy part with a spoon. Then scoop the rest of the flesh into the pot, on top of the mushroom and shallot mixture. Add about ¼ cup of water, and blend with an immersion blender until mostly smooth (you don’t have to be too precious with it – just get rid of the big chunks). Add more water if necessary to loosen up the sauce. It should be thick, like a baby food puree, so don’t add too much water – just enough to get it blended.

Cook the pasta in the same pot you cooked the kale in (it adds a nice flavor), for about 2 minutes less than the “al dente” cooking time. Before you drain the pasta, make sure to reserve about a cup and a half of the pasta cooking liquid. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot. Add the sauce, and about a half cup of the cooking liquid and stir until the pasta is well coated, adding more liquid as needed. Taste the pasta and add salt, pepper, or red pepper flake as needed. Then add the kale and the mozzarella and stir until the kale and mozz are well distributed.

Dump the pasta mix into the prepared casserole and make sure you get all the kale, mozz, and sauce out of the pot. Sprinkle the top of the casserole with parmesan cheese, and then dust it with sage and nutmeg for just that little kick at the end.

Bake for about 20 minutes, until the parm is starting to brown and everything looks gooey and bubbly.

Enjoy!!

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