Pasta with Kale Pesto and Roasted Squash

October 16, 2010

Since running the Army Run Half-Marathon in September, I have taken a bit of time off from doing long runs and speed work. My hips have felt tight and, like many runners experience after a race, I was feeling a bit let down and without a goal. Runners need goals! Perhaps it was the beautiful weather over the Thanksgiving weekend or maybe the feeling that if I don’t get back to my running routine now I never would, whatever the reason I finally snapped out of it and have had a couple of amazing runs in the last few days. I am back feeling the Elation that for me comes with running – stress gets burnt away and I feel strong. And I also feel HUNGRY. I forgot what a energy-burning machine I become when I focus on my training.

So here I am in the kitchen, finding that I haven’t eaten enough today, and I need supper immediately! I scan the fridge for something quick and filling. I decide to roast a delicata squash from Bryson Farms and make some kale pesto to have with a big bowl of pasta. The squash has a sweet taste and you don’t have to peel it. The diced squash cooks in about 15 minutes, which is just enough time to cook the pasta and whirl up some pesto. Voila, dinner is ready!  This is creamy and full of flavour, perfect to refuel body and soul, and to keep me running strong!

Pasta with Kale Pesto and Roasted Squash

Time: under 30 minutes


  • 1 pound Delicata squash (no need to peel)
  • 1 – 1 ½ cups, spelt rigatoni (Vita Spelt brand is delicious)
  • 2 cups packed kale, de-stemmed and chopped
  • ½ cup pine nuts (or a mix of pine nuts and raw walnuts)
  • 2 large garlic cloves, roughly chopped
  • About 10 sun dried tomato slices, roughly chopped
  • Finely grated zest of 1 lemon
  • Olive oil (¼– ½ cup)


  1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
  2. Thoroughly wash the squash, then halve it lengthwise and scoop out seeds. Place cut side down on cutting board and cut into thin crescent-shaped slices.
  3. Lightly spray a baking sheet with olive oil and spread pieces into an even layer, making sure there is space between them. Roast, stirring squash pieces once or twice, until golden brown and tender, about 15 minutes.
  4. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water a boil to cook pasta according to package directions.
  5. To make the pest, in a food processor, pulse together kale, nuts, sun-dried tomatoes, garlic, salt and lemon zest until mixture is smooth and salt has dissolved. With motor running, slowly drizzle in the oil until fully incorporated. Taste and add more salt, if necessary.
  6. Drain pasta, reserving a little cooking water. Toss pasta with kale pesto and some pasta cooking water if necessary to help it coat pasta. Serve topped with roasted squash.
  7. Unused pesto will keep for a few days in a covered container in the fridge.

Yield: 2 servings, (or one big serving if you just came back from a long run)


3 Responses to “Pasta with Kale Pesto and Roasted Squash”

  1. Jenn on October 18th, 2010 7:32 pm

    Yum! Can’t wait to try this one!

  2. Paula Pyne on October 29th, 2010 12:00 am

    An amazing recipe! Love this one – making it again already. Very yummy. Thanks Donna!

  3. Donna on October 29th, 2010 12:14 am

    Paula, you’ll love this recipe, it’s easy to make and sooo comforting as the nights get longer!

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