Yesterday morning I met a film crew at Walt L. Shamel Community Garden to discuss the future of food and the importance of community self-determination.
There aren’t enough layers in the world to make two hours of standing around in 10-degree weather pleasant. A full 36 hours later, I was still craving something warm and comforting. As luck would have it, my evening meeting was canceled, affording me my first night at home in over a week. Even better, kale and squash from Saturday’s CSA share were waiting for me.
Pasta with Lacinato Kale & Creamy Delicata Squash
- 1 delicata squash
- 1 small red onion
- 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
- 1 refreshing beer of your choice
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 2 tablespoons crème fraîche (or sour cream or whatever other recently expired dairy products you have on hand)
- 1/2 tablespoon honey vinegar (or white wine vinegar)
- 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
- salt and pepper
- 3 ounces spaghetti or any other pasta that suits your fancy
- 1 large handful lacinato kale, stripped of its stems
- Set the oven to 450. Cut off the tips of your squash, slice it down the middle and scoop out the innards. Toss this in a baking dish along with a sliced red onion. Drizzle on a tablespoon or two of olive oil and pop it in the oven. (Sure, you could wait for the oven to properly pre-heat but, let’s face it, you’re hungry in the way one can only be in the depths of winter.)
- Crack open a beer, change into some sweatpants, and search online for a recap of Season Four of Downton Abbey because, damn, you can’t seem to remember a thing.
- After 15 minutes or so, strip the rosemary and stir the needles in with the onions, give the whole pan a good shake, and pop it back in the oven. Now would be a good time to set a pot of salted water to boil.
- When the squash is tender, pop it into the small work bowl of your food processor along with the crème fraîche, nutmeg, vinegar and a good dose of salt and pepper. Run the food processor, scraping down the sides and adding a little water if needed, while you tend to the rest of your meal.
- When the water boils, add the pasta. Scoop the onions and rosemary into the food processor and run a couple more minutes. Taste and adjust the seasoning with additional salt and pepper. A few minutes before your pasta is done, add the kale to the boiling water.
- Scoop the squash mixture into a small mixing bowl, add the kale and pasta along with a bit of the cooking water, and toss to combine.
Half an hour after you walked in the door, you’ll be sitting down to a healthy, hearty and seasonal meal…and Season Five of Downton Abbey.