718 calories, 4.5 grams sugar, 23.9 grams fat, 101.2 grams carbohydrates, 28.3 grams protein
The key ingredient in this veggie pasta is homemade walnut pesto, which lends the dish a light yet savory taste. Note that it’s heavy on the carbs so if you’re on a carb-conscious diet, you may want to try something else (but you probably don't have leftover pasta in the first place).
“I always have a ton of roasted vegetables lying around, and the walnut pesto is a lighter alternative to Alfredo,” says chef Claire Thomas. “This is the perfect dish for vegetable leftovers because the walnut pesto goes with practically everything.”
For the pesto:
1 1/2 c. raw walnuts
3/4 c. cubed bread
2 cloves garlic
1/4 tsp. nutmeg, freshly grated
1/2 c. milk, or however much you need
1/4 c. Parmigiano, freshly grated
For the pasta:
2 c. butternut squash, chopped into 1/2 in. cubes
2 c. sunchoke (a.k.a. Jerusalem Artichokes), chopped into 1/2 in. cubes
1 fennel bulb, thinly sliced
1 bunch kale, veins removed and roughly chopped
1 leek, cleaned and chopped into 1/4 in. pieces
2 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of chili flake
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 lb. pasta, such as penne
3/4 c. walnut pesto, more if desired
Toasted breadcrumbs, optional
For the pesto:
Soak the bread in enough milk to cover the cubes, and soak the walnuts in enough hot water to cover them for 15 minutes. The bread should be soft and the walnuts should have turned the water a brownish hue. In a food processor, add the walnuts, drained with the liquid reserved, the bread and milk, and the other ingredients. Pulse to combine. Add a 1/4 c. of the walnut water and pulse until
smooth. Taste and season with salt and pepper. If you want a thinner, sauce-ier pesto, add more of the walnut liquid.
For the pasta:
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. On a baking sheet, drizzle the butternut squash, sunchoke, and fennel with olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast the fennel for about 15 minutes, or until the edges turn brown, and remove from oven. Continue to roast the sunchoke and butternut squash for another 20 minutes, flipping once. You want them to be really caramelized so if they need to get a little browner, leave them in for another 5 minutes. In a large saute pan over medium heat, add a tablespoon of olive oil and then the leeks. Season the leeks with salt and pepper, and after 5 minutes add the garlic. Cook for another 5 minutes until wilted and browning and add the kale. Stir in the kale so that it's coated, add more olive oil if necessary. Add the chili flake and lemon juice and
cook until the kale is just wilted. Meanwhile, heat up a pot of salted water to a boil and cook the pasta. In a small saucepan, heat up the walnut pesto over medium low heat. Once the pasta is cooked, add it to the saute pan with the kale, add the roasted vegetables, and add the walnut pesto. Stir to combine and coat. Garnish with a sprinkle of breadcrumbs and a drizzle of olive oil.
Makes 4 servings.
Recipe provided by Claire Thomas, host of ABC’s Food for Thought with Claire Thomas