Winter Pasta Salad FTW

Please forgive the FTW in the title. I am happy enough about this food I felt it called for some obnoxious high-schooler jargon. (With apologies to my 17yo sister.)

This is my own personal knock-off on a Williams-Sonoma recipe from their series Food Made Fast, in the cookbook One Dish Meals. They ask for sage, I used thyme. They asked for parmesan, I had none left so used swiss and it turned out better. And I kicked it up a notch with the addition of some wilted kale. This was AMAZING food. We had a small batch for dinner tonight and I’m assembling another large batch for church dinner tomorrow. The following will obviously yield a pretty large batch:

1 lb bacon, cooked and cut into small chunks (Do this how you want. Luckily, I had some pre-cooked bacon on hand in the freezer so I just tossed the strips on the pan of veggies in the last 5 minutes of roasting to perk it up. I think the cookbook suggested you snip it up raw and mix it with the veggies when you set them to roast.)
1 large butternut squash, cut into half inch cubes
1 or 2 onions, cut into thick lengthwise slices

Toss the squash and onion (and bacon?) with thyme, salt, and a bit of olive oil and roast in a single layer on a large baking sheet at 400F for about 45 minutes, turning once or twice, until squash is soft and onions are beginning to char at the tips. Toss in the bacon at the end if you’re doing it my way.

Boil 1 lb pasta of choice. (I’ve used penne before but this time garden rotini was in the pantry.)

Rinse, rib, and roughly slice/chop 3-4 large leaves of kale. Saute it for only a moment in a TBSP or 2 of butter with a bit of salt and a splash of lemon juice to give it an edge. Don’t overdo it–just enough that it slightly wilts and turns a happy bright color.

Toss the squash, onions, bacon, pasta, kale, and a bit of extra oil, salt, and thyme if that’s your thing. Then quickly toss in 4-6 oz coarsely shredded swiss cheese. (Once I used finely shredded fresh parmesan, as the Williams Sonoma book directed. Tonight we decided the swiss was even better.

Serve immediately.

Make it over and over until your husband begs for you to stop and serve some damn burgers already.

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