Pasta for you. Pasta for you!
I love pasta so much. I make it probably once per week, and it’s one of those things that I kind of go with in terms of not wanting to make it healthy. Eliminating cheese or oil or meat from pasta is just like…why? Makes no sense. So we have it on days when we’ve had lighter lunches or are starving or I say so.
This, though, is kind of the most veggies you could cram into a pasta AND not have it be covered in cheese sauce. I went with a super basic Italian-style base with garlic, anchovy paste, and crushed red pepper. Kale and lovely light delicata squash serve as the veg, and crispy crunchy garlic-bread-tasting breadcrumbs are the icing on the most delicious carby cake. Garlic breadcrumbs should become your new fav pasta topping.
For the breadcrumbs, you’ll need butter, bread crumbs (panko! whole wheat! any kind!), parmesan cheese, salt, pepper, and garlic powder.
Start with the butter and the bread crumbs with the seasoning in a skillet over medium-high heat. Aka, everything but the parmesan.
Stir the mixture together for 3-5 minutes until the breadcrumbs get nice and dark, then turn off the heat and dump in the parmesan.
Stir the parmesan into the mixture and let the breadcrumbs cool for a few minutes in the skillet, then remove them to a plate while you make the rest of the dish.
For the pasta, we’ll start by roasting the squash and then make the pasta while the squash is in the oven. Preheat the oven to 450F. In addition to 1 delicata squash (seeds removed and sliced to about 1/4 inch), you’ll need butter, crushed red pepper, anchovy paste, garlic, kale, and spaghetti. healthy ingredients (seriously, look at all the health benefits of kale!).
Start by arranging the squash in one layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle it with oil and sprinkle it with salt and pepper. While the squash is roasting, start boiling the pasta. Before you drain the pasta, reserve a cup or so of the cooking water.
Roast the squash for 10-15 minutes until it’s nice and tender and browned at the edges.
Now, we have breadcrumbs, roasted (or maybe still roasting) squash, and boiled (boiling, you get it) pasta. Start the sauce! In a skillet (this is the one I used for the breadcrumbs), add the anchovy paste, butter, crushed red pepper, and minced garlic over medium heat.
Let the mixture warm through for just a minute or so (the garlic should soften but not brown at all), then add the kale to the skillet.
Toss the kale in the butter mixture for 2 minutes to wilt it slightly, then add the pasta to the skillet.
Toss the pasta into the kale mixture with some splashes of the reserved pasta water for a minute or two to incorporate everything. Taste the pasta and add salt and pepper until it tastes great, then serve!
Pasta, delicata slices, bread crumbs. The savory/sweet from the anchovy paste and squash is so amazing here, and I wasn’t joking about topping every meal with these breadcrumbs.
Monday meal is this, yo.
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
- 1/4 cup butter
- 1 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon pepper
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 1 small delicata squash, seeds removed and thinly sliced
- olive oil, salt, and pepper
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 2 teaspoons anchovy paste
- 1 teaspoon crushed red pepper (or less if you don't like a lot of spice)
- 3 cloves minced garlic
- 3 cups torn kale leaves, stems removed
- 8 ounces spaghetti
For the breadcrumbs, add the butter and breadcrumbs to a skillet over medium-high heat with the garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Stir the mixture together until the butter melts and starts to toast the breadcrumbs. When the breadcrumbs are golden brown, turn the heat off the skillet and add the parmesan cheese. The mixture will be powdery. Let the breadcrumbs cool in the skillet or on a small plate while you prepare the pasta.
Preheat the oven to 450F. Arrange the delicata slices in one layer on a baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast for 10-15 minutes until the squash is brown at the edges and soft.
Cook the pasta to al dente according to the package directions. Before draining, reserve 1 cup of pasta water.
In a skillet, add the butter, red pepper flakes, and anchovy paste over medium heat. When the butter melts stir it into the anchovy paste and add the garlic. Cook for 1 minute, then add the kale. Toss the kale with the butter mixture for 3 minutes to wilt, then add the cooked pasta to the skillet. Toss the kale with the pasta, splashing in the reserved pasta water as you go to create a small amount of sauce.
Taste the pasta and add salt and pepper if you'd like.
Serve the pasta topped with delicata slices and the breadcrumbs. Devour!