Try as I may to keep our little kitchen stocked with fresh meals and snacks, there are times when things get a little busy. As a result, we have mornings like yesterday where I wake up and find the trail of breakfast my husband ate before leaving for work.
Yesterday morning’s breakfast consisted of a well-balanced, nutritional combination of Milano cookies, Sun Chips, and Fudgsicles, all consumed at 4:30 am. While years ago this may have been considered a result of a successful night out, today it’s just a sign that we need to go grocery shopping.
So after a quick run to the store, this little gem is what we had for dinner: wheat pasta tossed with roasted butternut squash, sauteed kale and garlic, toasted walnuts, and goat cheese. Simple and satisfying, this pasta has so many complimentary flavors that are perfect for a quick, nutritious weeknight meal with tons of leftovers. It is also great for quick swaps: if you’re not a fan of kale, substitute any other leafy green, like spinach or swiss chard, or use feta instead of goat cheese. And after you’ve polished it off, feel free to help yourself to a round of Milano cookies, Sun Chips, or Fudgsicles!
- 2 tbsp olive oil, plus 1 tbsp
- 3 garlic cloves, minced
- 1 bunch torn kale leaves, washed and stems removed
- 1/2 cup walnut pieces
- 1 lb lean ground turkey
- 1 lb wheat penne pasta
- 4 oz goat cheese, chopped to fine crumbles
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed
- 1 tbsp dried oregano
- 1 tbsp dried basil
- pinch red crushed pepper (optional)
- kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper, to taste
- Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
- Place cubed butternut squash in a bowl, and toss with 1 tbsp olive oil and sprinkled kosher salt and pepper. Place in a flat layer on a baking tray and bake for 25 minutes.
- Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook pasta according to directions to al dente.
- In the meantime, heat remaining olive oil in a large pan over medium heat. Add the minced garlic and cook for about 1 minute, stirring constantly to prevent burning. Add the ground turkey and cook until no longer pink. Drain grease and return back to stove. Lower heat to medium-low, and add the basil, oregano, and kale. Season with salt, pepper, and crushed red pepper, to taste. Stir occasionally until kale wilts to desired tenderness. Remove from heat.
- In a small skillet, heat walnuts over medium heat for 1-2 minutes, until golden brown or fragrant, stirring constantly to prevent burning.
- Allow the squash and turkey mixture to cool slightly, about 4-5 minutes, then toss with pasta, walnuts, and goat cheese. Serve warm.