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Penne with Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash, Kale and Hazelnuts

Thanksgiving is fast approaching. That means it’s time for me to post recipes that will impress your dinner guests and leave you feeling very thankful for the bounty of delicious, compassionate food.

Be sure to check out my Thanksgiving Mix and Match Menu and my Happy Thanksgiving Message from last year.

This is an entree that is beautiful as well as delicious. Hearty penne tossed with sweet roasted garlic, creamy roasted butternut squash, crispy kale and salty hazelnuts. What’s not to love?

You can prepare this two ways: baked as a cheesy casserole or unbaked as an amazing pasta dish. Either way, it’s gluten-free, vegan and potentially soy-free, depending which type of butter and cheese you use. Leave out the hazelnuts, if needed, and this dish can serve people with many types of dietary needs.

My Penne with Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash, Kale and Hazelnuts is a colorful, cruelty-free, healthy dinner that will definitely be a crowd pleaser. Enjoy!

Penne with Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash, Kale and Hazelnuts

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into cubes

1 head of garlic or about 10 cloves, peeled

Kosher salt and pepper

3 Tbs. extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 lb. gluten-free penne

2 Tbs. vegan butter

1 large shallot, minced

1 tsp. dried sage or 1 Tbs. fresh sage, chopped

A pinch of nutmeg

2 Tbs. nutritional yeast

½ cup reserved pasta water

2 large bunches of kale, stemmed and chopped

1 cup vegan cheese, divided (only ½ cup if not baking)
1/4 cup hazelnuts, chopped

Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Toss the butternut squash and garlic cloves on a baking sheet with salt, pepper and 1 Tbs. of oil. Roast for 25 minutes, flip the pieces and roast another 20 minutes or until the squash and the garlic are softened and browned. Set aside until ready to use.

Bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add Kosher salt to the pot. Add the penne and stir so they don’t stick. Cook until shy of al dente.

While the penne is cooking, heat the butter and the remaining 2 Tbs. oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add the shallot and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the sage, nutmeg and nutritional yeast to the pan and stir.

Add the butternut squash and the garlic to the pan and toss to coat with the butter and spices. When the penne is almost done, reserve about ½ cup of the pasta water. Drain the penne and add it back into pot. Transfer the butternut squash and garlic mix into the pot with the penne. Add the reserved pasta water and toss the pasta for a few minutes to make sure it’s well coated. The starchy pasta water will thicken and create a sauce.

Add the kale to the pot and toss it until it begins to wilt.

If you are serving this unbaked, add ½ cup of cheese to the pasta. Toss well. Garnish with the hazelnuts and serve while hot.

If you are serving this baked, add ½ cup of cheese to the pasta. Toss well. Lower the oven to 350 degrees. Transfer the pasta to a large casserole dish. Top with another ½ cup of cheese. Bake until the cheese has melted, about 15 minutes. Garnish with the hazelnuts and serve while hot.

The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.


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6 Responses to Penne with Roasted Garlic Butternut Squash, Kale and Hazelnuts

  1. Ross November 6, 2013 at 4:14 am #

    made this last night it was really nice!

    • Rhea November 6, 2013 at 2:49 pm #

      Yay! So glad you liked it Ross. I really love squash or pumpkin in pasta.

  2. panda vegan November 29, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    This looks good. I’m going to pin it!

  3. Rhea Parsons November 13, 2012 at 3:22 am #

    Thanks Flavia 🙂

  4. Flavia November 11, 2012 at 11:37 am #

    Beautiful looking dish! Definitely a keeper for the recipe file.


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