This creamy pasta makes for a satisfying one-bowl dinner. It’s the ultimate comfort food and has just a tingle of spice to keep you warm. The pasta is combined with a silky roasted butternut squash and mascarpone sauce before being topped with crispy kalettes (little kale sprouts) and fried sage. I can’t think of anything more perfect for a cosy night in.
You can use any kind of pasta shape for this dish. I recommend one with ridges to catch the creamy sauce in all the nooks and crannies. I used tripoline but fusilli, cavatappi and conchiglie would all work well. I love all kinds of pasta but have always thought there’s something quite magical about long shapes that you can twirl around your fork. Maybe I’m just a sucker for playing with my food.
The recipe itself uses just a handful of ingredients to showcase the beautiful roasted squash and kale. You can easily veganise the sauce by swapping the mascarpone for your favourite vegan cream cheese. Top with grated dairy-free Cheddar or mozzarella for a final flourish of the good stuff.
When it comes to pasta, I’m partial to a crispy, bubbly top. If you are too, you can sprinkle over some extra cheese and grill until leopard-spotted and gooey.
I ate this out of the pan as soon as I’d finished photographing it. No regrets.
Most people would say this recipe serves 6 but in my house, it serves 4. Who am I to tell you how much pasta to eat? Use my pasta measurements as a guideline for the pasta:sauce ratio and enjoy every last bit of this one-bowl wonder!
- 250 g pasta of your choice I used tripoline
- 1 large butternut squash peeled and cubed (about 1kg)
- 2 large cloves garlic sliced
- 1 tsp fennel seeds
- 2 tsp chilli flakes
- 2 tbsp olive oil + 1 tsp
- 20 sage leaves
- 160 g kalettes
- 250 g mascarpone
- 1 1/2 tsp sea salt
- Fresh parsley to garnish (optional)
- Grated cheese I like Cheddar, to garnish (optional)
- Pre-heat the oven to 200C/400F.
- First, fry the sage leaves in 2 tbsp olive oil until dark green and crispy. Remove from the oil and set aside on kitchen paper to cool and crisp up further. Keep the oil you used to cook them in — we’re going to toss the squash in this.
- Peel and cube the butternut squash. Toss with 1/2 tsp sea salt, fennel seeds and the olive oil used to cook the sage leaves. Place this in the oven to roast, about 30-35 minutes.
- Place the kalettes on a baking tray and drizzle with 1 tsp olive oil. Coat the kalettes well and once the squash has been in the oven for 20 minutes, pop the kalettes in for the remainder of the cooking time. They should take about 10-12 minutes to crisp up.
- Remove the squash and kale from the oven and allow to cool slightly.
- Cook the pasta in plenty of salted water, according to packet instructions.
- Blend together half of the squash, mascarpone and 60ml of the pasta cooking water. Be sure to include all that roasted garlic. Season with chilli flakes and 1 tsp salt.
- Drain the pasta and immediately toss the pasta with the sauce. Top with the crispy kalettes, remaining squash cubes and fried sage leaves. Garnish with chopped parsley and grated cheese, if desired. Serve piping hot.
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