Friends! Simon tried squash the other day, much to my surprise and delight. Those of you who’ve been here before know he is an extremely picky eater. But he tried some butternut squash I was making for an up and coming giveaway post—stay tuned for that—and he liked it! Not even just a tolerable, yeah it tastes fine. He actually liked it. At that point visions of squash began to dance through my head in a conga line as I imagined all the squash-themed recipes I’d be making this fall. Squash everything!
Pushing my luck, I decided to introduce him—in a safe and friendly way—to another varietal, the acorn squash. Having an Italian grandmother means Simon loves all things pasta and I figured I’d make a simple squash linguini to help further his fondness. Lately I find I have been wanting to create more healthy dishes for the blog and I think it’s my subconscious body preparing itself of the onslaught of baked goods, sweets, and food-centered days that loom ahead. It’s my favorite time of year, but a dangerous one food-wise.
This is one of those recipes I just made up as I went. I surveyed my fridge and cupboards and pulled out a few simple ingredients. Because it was made in the moment I didn’t watch my ingredient increments too closely. I prefer to create without recipes and since that obviously doesn’t work for a food blog I only indulge in the habit when I’m not planning on posting a meal. But then you see it tasted so healthy and fresh and flavorful! And the fleeting daylight was just bright enough for a few quick photos, so I reconstructed the recipe as best as I could. I have a good eye for these things.
I roasted butternut and acorn squash with olive oil, salt and pepper, and a little nutmeg. I tossed the noodles in a roasted garlic and lemon sauce and wilted a little kale in to the mix. Roasting the garlic is key to getting a full-flavored, savory sauce. Also, be sure to use fresh lemon juice and real Parmesan cheese. When you are only using a few ingredients for flavor it’s important that the be good quality. The dish was fresh, simple, and most importantly Simon-friendly. Meaning it’s the perfect anytime recipe for the fall season.
What are some of your favorite, healthy-ish fall dishes! Share below!
- 12 oz. cooked pasta + 1/3 cup reserved pasta water
- 1 bulb roasted garlic, recipe below
- 4 cups diced squash, I used a blend of acorn and butternut
- Olive oil
- Salt and pepper
- Pinch nutmeg
- 2 Tbsp. butter
- 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
- 1 bunch of kale, torn from stems
- 1 tsp. lemon zest
- Juice from one lemon
- 2/3 cups grated parmesan, plus more for serving
- Preheat oven to 350°F.
- Cut off the top of a bulb of garlic, about ¼ inch. Drizzle with olive oil and wrap in foil.
- Place in a small baking dish to avoid oil dripping.
- Bake for about 30-45 minutes (depending on the size of your bulb) or until cloves are golden brown. Allow to cool before handling.
- Meanwhile prepare the squash.
- I peeled the butternut but left the skin on the acorn, which is fine to eat. Scoop out the seeds and chop into 1-inch cubes and arrange on a baking sheet lined with parchment paper.
- Drizzle with olive oil, season with salt, pepper, and nutmeg.
- Bake for about 20 minutes or until tender.
- Next, prepare pasta, drain and set aside. Be sure to reserve 1/3 cup pasta water.
- Make the Pasta
- In a large pan melt 2 Tbsp. butter and 2 Tbs. olive oil over medium heat.
- Add in garlic cloves and lemon zest and mash up garlic until smooth.
- Next add in the kale and season with a little salt and pepper. Sauté until leaves begin to wilt.
- Add in lemon juice and pasta water. Cook for one minute.
- Add in pasta and squash, tossing until everything is combined.
- Turn off heat and add Parmesan, mixing again.
- Serve immediately with more Parmesan and perhaps a glass of chilled white wine!