Pappardelle with Autumn Pesto and Roast Squash

Serves 4

Kale pesto pairs with roasted butternut squash for a fall-inspired meal.
Ingredients
  • 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cut into bite-size pieces 
  • All-natural cooking spray
  • Salt and pepper 
  • 1/8 teaspoon each (a sprinkle) of ground cinnamon and cayenne pepper 
  • 2-3 cloves garlic, crushed 
  • About 1/3 cup toasted pine nuts, almonds or hazelnuts 
  • 5-6 cups Tuscan (flat) kale, stemmed 
  • Freshly grated nutmeg 
  • Juice of 1 lemon 
  • About 1/3 cup extra virgin olive oil (EVOO)
  • 1/2 cup Pecorino Romano cheese 
  • 1 pound pappardelle
Directions
  1. Pre-heat the oven to 425°F.
  2. Arrange the squash on a baking sheet and spray lightly with cooking spray. Season with salt, pepper, cinnamon and cayenne. Roast for 20-25 minutes, until tender and brown at the edges.
  3. Bring a large pot of water to a boil for the pasta.
  4. Place the garlic and nuts in a food processor and pulse to finely chop. Add the kale in batches and pulse to finely chop. Add salt, pepper and a few grates of nutmeg. Add the lemon juice to the processor bowl. Stream in the EVOO, about 6-8 tablespoons, until a thick sauce forms. Transfer to a serving bowl and stir in the Pecorino.
  5. Salt the water and cook the pasta to al dente. Add 1 cup of the starchy cooking water to the pesto just before draining the pasta. Toss the pappardelle with the pesto sauce and starchy cooking water for 1-2 minutes to coat. Taste to adjust the seasonings. Combine the pasta with the roasted butternut squash and serve with extra cheese at the table.