Recipe: Penne and Butternut Squash with Kale Pesto

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Penne and Butternut Squash with Kale Pesto

Summary: The pairing of butternut squash with kale is a longtime personal favorite, so I had no doubt that I would love the combination in this pasta dish.

Ingredients
8 ounces penne
½ small butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice (about 2 cups)
2 garlic cloves, minced
2 cups chopped kale leaves
¼ cup walnut pieces
2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 tablespoons olive oil
¼ teaspoon salt
1 small red onion, finely chopped

Instructions
1. Bring a medium-size pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta, and when the water returns to a boil, stir in the squash. Cook the pasta and squash together until just tender. Drain well, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water. Return the pasta and squash to the pot; cover to keep warm.
2. While the pasta and squash are cooking, make a kale pesto. In a food processor, combine the garlic, kale, walnuts, lemon juice, 1 tablespoon of the oil, and the salt. Process for 2 minutes until a paste forms. Add the reserved pasta water and continue to process until incorporated.
3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat.
Add the onion and cook for 5 minutes to soften. Add the pesto and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Combine the sauce with the pasta and squash, tossing to combine. Heat through if needed. Serve hot.

Diet type: Vegan

Number of servings (yield): 4


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