A Simple Creamy Butternut Squash Pasta With Cavolo Nero

A simple creamy butternut squash pasta dish is all you need right now if you’re looking for a dish to bring you pure comfort, where each mouthful is like a tantalising flavour party and filled with so much ‘goodness’ your body and mind will thank you.

This time of the year can be difficult as it is, let alone dealing with a pandemic. Those first couple of months after Christmas can always feel a little sluggish, It’s colder than usual, so we may prefer to be curled up on the sofa than head outside. I don’t know about you, but all I want to do is eat food that makes me smile. Generally, people would be tempted to order a takeaway or junk food to scratch that itch. However, comforting food doesn’t always have to be naughty. This dish definitely gives you the feels while feeding your body and mind with the energy it needs.

The sweet nuttiness of the squash with the earthy cavolo nero is a fantastic flavour combination. Plus the ‘creaminess’ created by combining the parmesan, squash and the starchy pasta water gives a lovely unctuous aftertaste. And guess what, there isn’t a drop of cream insight. TICK for pure health.

This simple easy recipe is a perfect mid-week meal for you, flat mates and family. I can guarantee smiles and clean plates after dinner time and isn’t that what we’re looking for.

Check out the ingredients/equipment list below, recipe steps and cooking tips to make you feel like a pro.

Enjoy my bambinos!

two orange plates with spiral pasta coasted in butternut squash and cavolo nero. On a green check tablecloth

A Simple butternut squash pasta with cavolo nero (2 people)

  • 300g butternut squash

  • Olive oil

  • Sea salt

  • 2 shallots, finely sliced

  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped

  • 1/4 tsp of dry sage

  • 150g sliced cavolo nero or kale

  • 40g parmesan, grated

  • 250g short pasta, fusilli or penne or farfalle

  • Fresh black pepper

Equipment

  • Peeler
  • Chopping board
  • Kitchen knife
  • Baking tray
  • Large saucepan
  • Large deep frying pan
  • Wooden spoon
  • Potato masher

To watch the full recipe video, head to my youtube channel here. Make sure you subscribe to ensure you get notifications of new recipe videos as uploaded.

Steps (don't forget to check out the tips below

  • First, peel, slice and chop the butternut squash into 3 cm chunks
  • Place the butternut squash on a baking tray, lightly coat with olive oil, season with a pinch of salt. Roast in the oven at 180c for 40 minutes until softened.
  • Bring a large pan of water to the boil, season with salt and cook the cavolo nero for 5 minutes. When cooked, carefully remove the veg with a slotted spoon. Place aside. It’s important to keep the water as we will cook the pasta in it later.
  • Heat 2 tbsp olive oil in a frying pan on a low heat. Add the shallots and garlic and softly fry for 3-4 minutes
  • Add a pinch of sage.
  • Bring the cavolo nero water back to the boil and cook your pasta as instructed on the packet.
  • In the meantime, add the butternut squash to the shallot/garlic. Add a couple of tablespoons of pasta water and mush it with the potato masher. Add the parmesan and stir until you have a lovely thick paste.
    Season with salt and ground black pepper. Add the cavolo nero.
  • When the pasta is cooked, add it to the vegetables. Stir and make sure the pasta is well coated with the creamy squash paste and cavolo nero. Finish with more parmesan. Serve immediately.

Tips for each step above

  1. The skin on the butternut squash can be very tough, To soften it, you can pop it in the microwave or 2-3 mins before peeling. For more tips on how to cut butternut squash, head here.
  2. To check that the butternut squash has softened, prick a piece with a fork and if the fork slides out easily then it’s cooked as needed.
  3. When boiling or blanching vegetables, it’s important to cook them in well seasoned salty boiling water. The water must be as salty as the sea to enhance the flavour of the vegetable.
  4. To prevent the shallot and garlic burning, make sure they are well coated in the olive oil and gently stir them in the pan.
  5. No tip needed.
  6. To ensure that the pasta doesn’t stick together, as soon as the pasta hits the water, keep it stirring for 2 minutes.
  7. Add the pasta water gradually until you have the right consistency.
  8. My only tip is to enjoy.

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