What to CookPasta

Seriously, Put (Kale) Chips On Your Pasta

4 Save

If you like it, save it!

Save and organize all of the stuff you love in one place.

Got it!

If you like something…

Click the heart, it's called favoriting. Favorite the stuff you like.

Got it!

Tasting kale chips for the first time was a revelation. I didn't know kale, that stubbornly healthy and wretchedly sturdy vegetable, could be this good: crunchy and lick-your-fingers salty.

Photo by Posie Harwood

Pair this discovery with another one I'm, admittedly, late to the game to find out about: how to add texture to pasta. Soft and slippery, pasta doesn't cry out for contrasting textures the way other dishes do (like salad, ice cream sundaes, or sandwiches). Most of us have happily paired pasta with silky sauces and melted cheese and gone about the business of eating dinner without a second thought.

I did too, until I tried a recipe recently that called for crisp roasted chickpeas atop a bowl of pasta. Whoa, I thought, crunch on pasta is just like a crouton on salad: fine without it, but so much better with it. Add it to your list of clever kitchen tricks that will take your cooking from good to great.

Photo by Posie Harwood

This golden rule (a.k.a. always contrast textures) led me to an old Barilla pasta recipe that's perfect for fall. Comforting and rustic, wide ribbons of pappardalle are tossed with earthy cubes of roasted butternut squash and cherry tomatoes. To make it easy, the butternut squash and tomatoes are roasted together on one sheet pan and the kale on another. The tomatoes wilt and begin to release their juices as they roast, adding a sweet flavor to the pasta.

Onion and garlic are briefly cooked in white wine to coax their flavors together, then in goes your cooked pasta, the roasted vegetables, and some reserved pasta water. The reduced white wine, the starchy pasta water, and the oil from the vegetables come together to gloss each strand of pasta with a savory slick of sauce.

Photo by Posie Harwood

Then, to take it over the top, the pasta's finished with a handful of crispy kale and some freshly grated Parmesan cheese. There's every sort of texture imaginable here—each mouthful interesting and rich with fall flavor.

Make this on a weeknight when a slight chill creeps into the air and you want to turn the oven on. Then make it again, and again, and marvel at how satisfying cooking for yourself (and contrast) can be.

Crispy Kale, Roasted Butternut Squash & Tomato Pappardelle

Crispy Kale, Roasted Butternut Squash & Tomato Pappardelle

Posie (Harwood) Brien Posie (Harwood) Brien
Serves 4
  • 1 pound dried pappardelle pasta
  • 1/2 bunch kale, washed and stems removed
  • 2 pints cherry tomatoes
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
  • 1 small yellow onion, diced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 cup dry white wine, optional (sub water if you prefer)
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
  • olive oil for drizzling
Go to Recipe

Posie Harwood is a writer, photographer, and food stylist based in New York. You can read more of her writing here.

Tell us what your ideal pasta's topped with in the comments below.

Automagic Spring Menu Maker!
Automagic Spring Menu Maker!

Tags: Vegetable, Fall