“What qualities do you think you can bring to our table?”, asks the interviewer.
“I’m incredibly nutritious and well-rounded and well-balanced enough to be a complete meal. And,” she says, looking shyly down at her shoes, “I can be really flexible.”
“Well, I can be mellow and easy to eat. But add a little cayenne and I am a lively sweet-and-spicy meal.”
“And how would you characterize your weaknesses?”
“I’m a little hard to stop eating and, um, people tend to overindulge when I’m around.”
Farfalle with Spice-Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale and Walnuts
To make really short work of it, buy peeled fresh squash cut in chunks (and halve the chunks) and pre-washed kale.
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1-inch cubes
3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
1/2 teaspoon salt, divided
½ teaspoon cumin
pinch (about 1/8 teaspoon) each ground nutmeg and cinnamon
1 cup sliced onion
1/3 cup walnuts, coarsely chopped
8 ounces mixed or whole grain farfalle (bow tie) pasta (I use Barilla Plus)
4 ounces torn kale leaves (6 cups)
1/3 cup grated pecorino Romano
1/4-1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
- Preheat oven to 475 degrees. Coat a baking sheet pan with cooking spray.
- Toss the squash with 2 teaspoons of the oil, 1/4 teaspoon of the salt, cumin, nutmeg and cinnamon. Spread the cubes out on half of the baking sheet pan. Toss the sliced onion with 1 teaspoon of the oil and spread it out on the other end of the sheet pan. Place in the oven for 10 minutes, toss and roast another 5 minutes, or until the squash is fork-tender and the onions cooked through. Push the onions over to clear a space in the center of the pan; place the walnuts there in a single layer and return to the oven for 1-2 minutes, until the walnuts are very lightly browned and aromatic.
- While the vegetables roast, cook the pasta. Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil; add the pasta and cook 5 minutes. Add the kale and cook another 5 minutes, or until the pasta is al dente. Scoop out and reserve 1/4 cup of the water and drain.
- Toss the pasta with the squash, onions, walnuts, reserved cooking liquid, and remaining ¼ teaspoon salt, 2 tablespoons of olive oil, cheese and red pepper (if desired). Season with additional salt (after adding the cheese) to taste.
Makes 4 servings
Nutritional analysis per serving: 502 calories, 20 g protein, 65 g carbohydrates, 9 g fiber, 21 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 462 mg sodium