I’ve been a little quiet on the blog lately and it feels good to be back with a new recipe. I had a whirlwind of a summer testing 60+ recipes and styling and photographing 50 plant-based boards for my new cookbook, Vegan Boards. It’s like the beautiful charcuterie boards you see on Instagram and Pinterest, but entirely vegan! I can’t wait for you to have a copy in your hands; the book comes out on February 2, 2021. If you’re interested, you can pre-order by clicking here! Okay, I’m done plugging my new cookbook.
Let’s talk about this Roasted Delicata Squash Pasta with Kale recipe. It’s simple in the best possible way and celebrates my favorite fall foods.
When I set out to make this recipe I knew I wanted to use roasted delicata squash and pasta – that was it. I usually like to have an idea of where a recipe is going before I start cooking, but I let my intuition guide me on this one. I thought about making a creamy sauce with hummus or cashew butter. Mushrooms were on the table for a moment. But in the end, all I really wanted was to let the flavor of the sweet, caramelized delicata squash shine through. The result is what you see here.
A garlicky vegan butter sauce lightly coats the rigatoni and squash, while sautéed leek lends just the right amount of flavor without overpowering the other ingredients.
If you’re new to cooking with leeks, here’s what you need to know. The usable part of the leek is the light green section below the dark green stalks and above the root. Slice the leek into rounds, then place the segments in a bowl and fill it with water. Loosen the layers of the leek with your fingers to dislodge any dirt, then drain and pat dry.
Chopped and lightly toasted raw almonds offer a really beautiful texture contrast to the tender pasta and squash.
If you’re not a fan of kale, you can swap in any leafy green here. Just add it straight to the skillet – no massaging necessary. I think you’ll be pleasantly surprised at how the simple flavors in this recipe blend together for an ultra-satisfying fall supper.Print
Celebrate the flavors of fall by making this Roasted Delicata Squash Pasta with Kale for dinner. It’s light, yet very flavorful and satisfying.
For the roasted delicata squash
- 1 delicata squash
- 3 teaspoons olive oil, divided
- ½ teaspoon salt
- A few twists of black pepper
For the pasta
- 8 ounces rigatoni
- 1 to 2 leeks (1 cup chopped leek)
- ¼ cup raw almonds, roughly chopped
- 2 tablespoons vegan butter
- 2 large garlic cloves, finely chopped
- ½ teaspoon salt, divided
- 2 packed cups of kale leaves, finely chopped
- Preheat your oven to 400F degrees. Cut off the ends of the delicata squash and slice it in half lengthwise. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds.
- Slice each squash half into ½-inch wide half moon shapes. Transfer the delicata squash pieces to a baking sheet and toss with 2 teaspoons of olive oil, salt, and black pepper.
- Roast the delicata squash for 10 minutes. Flip the pieces over and roast for 10 to 12 minutes more, until tender and slightly caramelized. Set the roasted delicata squash aside.
- Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook the pasta according to the package directions, until al dente. Drain and rinse the pasta and return it to the pot. Toss the cooked pasta with a teaspoon of olive oil to prevent the pieces from sticking together.
- Cut the dark green tops off of the leeks and discard or save for making vegetable broth. Roughly chop the light green section of the leeks and place them in a bowl.
- Fill the bowl with water and use your fingers to separate the layers of the leek and clean out any debris. Drain the leeks and dry them between two kitchen towels or paper towels.
- Heat a large, dry skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the chopped almonds and toast until fragrant and lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer the almonds to a small bowl and set aside.
- Return the skillet to medium heat and add the vegan butter. Once melted, reduce the heat to medium-low and add 1 cup of chopped leek. Season the leek with ¼ teaspoon of salt and sauté until soft and fragrant, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic to the skillet and sauté a minute more. Remove from heat and fold the cooked pasta into the skillet, coating the noodles with the vegan garlic butter and leeks.
- Place the chopped kale in a mixing bowl and sprinkle with ¼ teaspoon salt. With clean hands, massage the kale for a minute or two, until softened and bright green. Scoop the massaged kale into the skillet and stir to combine all of the ingredients.
- Transfer the roasted squash to the skillet and stir gently to incorporate it with the pasta and veggies. Sprinkle with toasted almonds and serve warm.