Monday, June 10, 2013

Pasta with Ham, Kale and Parmesan Butternut Squash Sauce

So, I went downstairs to gather items to make dinner. 

Yes. We live in the Midwest and we have a basement. Not something I have ever liked or even gotten used to after almost 20 years back here. But it is a necessary evil in my mind. 

Folks, they have Tornados back here.If anyone lives in the US, they pretty much know those horrific wind-weather devils happen back here predominately in the Midwest. 

I thought I'd be safe, moving to Iowa. Oh no, I was so wrong. They get terrible weather here. Yes. I know Ice storms, snow, but they also get those Tornados. 

Growing up in California, we had earthquakes. Been through many of those in the last 50 years, including the last really catastrophic ones that impacted the Bay Area and LA.

Well, I don't know what's worse? I just think Mother Nature rules, and we're just little pawns that over a lifetime she manipulates. 

Our hearts go out to the folks in Oklahoma and Kansas and Missouri, they get hammered. 

We also get our share up here in the upper Midwest. 

So, the weather here is finally cooperating and we no longer have torrential rains and it's starting to warm up. Fingers crossed-things change back here rather quickly.

But....while I was down in the basement...

Low and behold I found a big butternut squash just hanging out on the shelf. My family loves winter squash and to find a big baby just waiting for me to cook was sweet. Testament to how cool as in air temperature, basements are folks.

Today was too hot to think about roasting it, that would be my first move. No...I made an awesome sauce out of it. 

Yes!!  Seriously, after seeing this, do you blame me?

No, I didn't think so. 

And I used the same water to cook the squash, blanch the kale and cook the pasta, no waste here. 

I made a butternut squash, parmesan laden, buttery sauce to coat this pasta. Ramped it up in the veggie line by steaming fresh kale and made sure to keep it cheesy by adding copious amounts of fresh parmesan cheese. 

Oh yeah, this is one dish you'll be thankful for your garden or Farmer's Market. 

6-8 cups Butternut Squash-cubed
1 large onion, diced
3-4 cloves garlic, minced
12 oz. chopped ham
4 cups Kale, chopped
1 lb. pasta, cooked
1 cup pasta water, reserved
1 cup chicken broth
2 cups Parmesan cheese, divided
1 tsp Sage or Poultry Seasoning
1 tsp Pepper
4 tbsp butter

  1. Peel, cube the butternut squash. 
  2. Meanwhile heat a large pot of water. Salt water liberally and cook squash 15-20 minutes, or until tender. 
  3. In a large saute pan, heat oil and saute onions until translucent. Add ham and continue to cook until ham is slightly browned. Add in garlic. 
  4. In a food processor, add cooked squash, chicken broth and poultry seasoning. Process until smooth. 
  5. Add in 1 cup Parmesan and pulse until smooth. Set aside. 
  6. Cook the pasta in the squash water and the last 3 minutes of cooking add in chopped kale. Cook for 3 minutes and using a large slotted spoon move Kale to saute pan with ham and onions.  Stir and combine.
  7. Reserve 1 cup of pasta water and drain pasta. Add to saute pan and pour butternut squash blend over. Stir to coat and add reserved pasta water. 
  8. Add in butter and stir to melt and blend over low heat. 
  9. Add in 1/2 cup of Parmesan and stir to coat. 
  10. Season with pepper, you probably won't need salt due to the ham and cheese. 
  11. Serve and sprinkle with the last 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese.

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This recipe is shared on My Link Parties