For a go-to fall dish to pull from the oven in front of salivating friends and family, try this vegetarian baked pasta with roasted pumpkin, mushrooms and kale.
1 box pasta, rigatoni or penne work well
1 small pie pumpkin
2 cups of mushrooms, try baby bellas or shitake
1 bunch of kale
1 cup of heavy cream
Several sprigs of Fresh Thyme
Block of parmesan cheese
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The first step here is the most difficult. Cut the stem off your pumpkin and then slice it in half down the middle. Use a vegetable peeler to carefully remove the skin from the pumpkin -- this is difficult work, take your time and try to keep a steady hand. Scoop out the insides of the pumpkin, and cut the remaining flesh into quarter-inch cubes.
Quarter the mushrooms and toss them with the pumpkin cubes in olive oil, salt and thyme. Roast in the oven for 20 to 25 minutes at 375 degrees or until the pumpkin is tender.
While the pumpkin is in the oven, boil your pasta in salted water. Take the pasta off the heat and drain it three minutes before it would usually be done -- it'll finish cooking in the oven in a moment.
Clean and then roughly chop at least half the bunch of kale. When the vegetables are done roasting and the pasta is drained, combine both in a deep baking pan with the kale. The cheap disposable tins available at Kroger work well for this. Dump in the cream and toss everything with lots of salt, pepper and more thyme. Grate as much parmesan cheese as you like on top.
Bake uncovered at 375 degrees for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and serve alongside some spooky cocktails for a positively autumnal meal.