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Wanna know what fall tastes like? Keep reading then.

It tastes like hearty, warm, squashy, kale-y, cheesy, melty goodness.

Here’s how this thing went down. On a whim, I bought an acorn squash and a bunch of purple kale. I love squash and kale. In the words of my loving roommate on my kale fetish, “I don’t know what your fixation is with this vegetable.” I don’t know what it is either. Something about coaxing delicious flavor out of a potentially bitter and fibrous leafy green fascinates me. As for the squash, I bought it with the intention of making my childhood favorite: steaming a squash half in the microwave with heaps a bit of butter and brown sugar. However, I didn’t feel like making something sweet at the time, but I did feel like squash. I browsed trusty ol’ foodnetwork.com and found a recipe that I changed up a little to conform to my ingredients, and here’s what I came up with.

Squash and Kale Pasta

1/2 of an acorn or butternut squash

1 bunch purple kale (green would be fine, just not as colorful), stems and large stalks removed, and leaves chopped into bite size pieces

2 tbsp. butter

3 cloves garlic, mined

1/3 of a yellow onion, sliced or diced

1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes

salt

1 1/4 cups chicken broth or water

2 cups dried pasta

large handful shredded mozzarella cheese

Tackle your squash first. Peel it, seed it, and cube it. For the record, I would recommend using butternut squash rather than acorn, because the shape of acorn squash makes it quite an undertaking to peel. Now in a large skillet, melt your butter. Add the squash cubes and cook those until they brown up a bit. Add the garlic and onion, red pepper flakes, and a sprinkling of salt and cook for another couple minutes. Preheat your broiler so it can get nice and hot while you finish up. Add the chicken broth to the skillet and bring it to a simmer. Add your pasta and cover your pan. I used whole wheat egg noodles. I really like the taste of whole wheat pasta in this recipe. The original called for gnocchi though, which would also be lovely.

When the pasta is tender, throw in the kale. It’ll look like a whole lot of kale, but it shrinks down quickly. 

Cook just until wilted and transfer it all to a casserole dish and sprinkle with the mozzarella cheese. Pop that into the broiler until the cheese is bubbly and slightly browned.

Take it out, maybe let it cool for a second, maybe don’t. Scoop yourself a heap and let that involuntary smile take over your face like it did mine : )

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