CREAMY BUTTERNUT SQUASH PASTA SKILLET

  • 16 ounces whole wheat pasta shells
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 large carrot, peeled and chopped
  • 4 ounces baby bella mushrooms, sliced
  • 3 cups bite-sized pieces of kale (stems removed before chopping!)
  • 1 ½ cups butternut squash puree (homemade or store-bought)
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • ½ cup low-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh rosemary
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves
  • 1 ½ cups freshly shredded provolone cheese, divided
  • salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
  • ⅓ cup walnuts, finely chopped
  1. Preheat the oven to 350ºF.
  2. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil. Add in the pasta and cook according to the package directions until al dente. Drain and set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, set a large oven-safe skillet over medium heat. Add in the olive oil. When hot, add in the onion and cook for about 2 minutes, until it starts to soften. Add in the garlic and cook for 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add in the carrot and mushrooms. Cook for about 5 minutes until tender. Add in the kale and cook for about 1 to 2 minutes, until bright green and slightly wilted.
  4. Add in the butternut squash puree, milk, vegetable broth, rosemary and sage. Mix until combined then bring the mixture to a gentle simmer (increasing the heat slightly). Let the mixture simmer gently for about 3 to 4 minutes, stirring fairly often, until it thickens up a bit (it won’t be super thick - just saucy). Turn off the heat. Add in the drained pasta and ½ cup of the provolone cheese. Mix until combined. Taste and season with salt / pepper (I usually add about ½ teaspoon salt, ¼ teaspoon pepper). Top with the remaining 1 cup provolone, the parmesan and the walnuts.
  5. Transfer the skillet to the oven and bake for about 8 to 10 minutes, until the cheese is nice and melted.

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