My grandma is staying with us for a few days this week, so naturally I put her to work making her amazing meatballs. Although we were eager to dig into them I didn’t have time yesterday to make marinara. I was feeling inspired so I dug through what was left of our weekend farmers market haul to come up with dinner. The result will likely become a regular in our fall dinner rotation.
Delicata squash has a delicious, mellow sweetness when sauteed in garlic and olive oil. Once the squash was seared I poured about a cup of the cooking water from my boiling pasta into the pan. The cooked meatballs were added in just long enough to warm them through and create a flavorful sauce. Back in the pot with the pasta, I added chopped Swiss chard to the boiling water for the last few minutes of cooking time. Then tossed everything together with a heathy handful of shredded Parmesan.
Such a hearty, colorful satisfying fall meal.
Pasta with Squash, Chard and Meatballs
12 ounces rotini pasta
1 bunch swiss chard, ribs removed and chopped into large pieces
1 delicata squash, peeled, seeded and chopped into 1 inch chunks
1 large clove of garlic, thinly sliced
2 Tablespoons olive oil
6 to 8 cooked meatballs (thawed if previously frozen)
2 Tablespoons butter
1/2 cup shredded parmesan cheese
Salt & pepper to taste
Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water according to package instructions. During the last few minutes ladle 1 cup of the cooking water from the pot and set aside. Add chard to the pot and continue cooking until pasta is al dente and greens are wilted. Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, heat olive oil in a large saute pan. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute over medium heat. Add squash and cook for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally until squash is golden brown on all sides. Add reserved pasta water and meatballs, cover and cook for 8 to 10 minutes more until squash is cooked through and meatballs are warm throughout.
Add reserved pasta and chard, along with the butter and cheese and toss until the butter is melted and the pasta is evenly distributed. Season with salt and pepper to taste. Serve immediately. If desired, pass additional cheese and olive oil for people to drizzle into their bowl.
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