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Author Notes: We were terrified of kale before making this – it's usually so bitter and slimy! But when we were challenged to highlight kale in a cooking demo at the farmers market, we knew it was time to get over ourselves. This ended up being one of our most successful demos ever. This pasta is colorful and vibrant, creamy and flavorful but also light and healthy. Perfect for the summer. —Fig Test Kitchen
- 3 small peeled butternut squash (approx. 6 pounds) (you will have extra when the recipe is done – save it for salads or sides.... or just make more pasta!
- 6 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2-3 teaspoons sea salt
- 2 teaspoons coarsely ground black pepper
- 1 pound penne, fusilli, or another favorite pasta
- 2 cups scallions, red spring onions or a combination, chopped
- 3 tablespoons canola oil
- 6 cups kale, chopped
- 3 tablespoons garlic
- 2 cups cherry tomatoes
- 1-2 tablespoons rosemary, chopped
- 8 ounces mascarpone cheese
- 1 cup parmesan cheese
- 2-4 tablespoons pomegranate seeds (optional)
- Pre-heat oven to 375 convection/400 conventional
- Cube butternut into one inch pieces (don’t worry if they are not perfect squares) and place on two cookie sheets lined with parchment paper.
- Sprinkle sea salt and pepper evenly over squash. Roast for 30 minutes, or until soft. Remove from oven and let cool to room temperature.
- While squash is baking, cook pasta in salted water according to the package instructions. Drain in colander and set aside.
- Heat canola oil in a 12-14 inch skillet or sauté pan.
- Add onions and sauté until soft and glassy, but not brown, about 5 minutes.
- Add garlic and cook for another minute stirring constantly to assure garlic doesn’t burn.
- Add kale and cook until it is soft but still bright green and textured, about 2 minutes.
- Add cherry tomatoes and cook for an additional 1-2 minutes, until they are just warm and starting to soften (do not overcook, or they will be mushy).
- Place pasta in a large bowl, add mascarpone and stir well.
- Add the kale-tomato mixture along with 3-4 cups of butternut squash. Mix well.
- Add Parmesan cheese and pomegranate seeds for additional color. You're done!