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Butternut Squash Ravioli with Garlicky Kale

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Kale in White Bowl

These butternut squash ravioli with garlicky kale are a weeknight savior. It doesn’t take much to dress up a high quality, store-bought ravioli. In fact, I often just toss fresh pasta in olive oil with a little bit of parmigiano. But here I wanted to create something that would be more filling and pack more nutrients: enter this garlicky kale. The best part of this recipe? The kale cooks while your pasta water boils, meaning you can have this nutrient-dense and hearty meal on the table in about 25 minutes.

I love recipes like this, that combine fresh with fast. If you’ve been a reader for a while, you know I love pasta of all types — including homemade, like my incredibly popular ricotta gnocchi in vodka sauce. But we all need some shortcuts every once in a while, right? I’m not about to make homemade pasta on a weeknight. Adding fresh ingredients to something store-bought is all it takes to have a healthy — but still indulgent — meal on the table in no time. I’ve been inspired to dress up store-bought fresh pasta ever since seeing Giada De Laurentiis’ pumpkin ravioli with sage and toasted hazelnuts. Talk about elevated weeknight dining.

Butternut Squash Ravioli over Kale in Cast Iron Skillet

How to make the garlicky kale

There’s not much to making this garlicky kale — and it’s so flavorful that it would taste delicious even on plain pasta. But the combination of this savory, hearty green with the slight sweetness of the butternut squash is something special. Here’s all you have to do while your pasta water boils:

  1. Heat extra virgin olive oil in a heavy-bottomed pan. I love to use my cast iron skillet for this recipe.
  2. Add 1-2 cloves of minced garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Be careful not to burn the garlic!
  3. Add chopped kale stems (no need to throw them away!) and cook for about 3 minutes. We often overlook kale stems and go straight for the leaves, but they add nice flavor and texture to this dish. Plus, they’re really good for you!
  4. Add torn kale leaves and stir well to combine. Season with salt and pepper and cover pan.
  5. Cook for about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until kale is wilted.

Just five steps to garlickly, flavorful perfection. Once your ravioli have cooked, drain them and toss with the kale. Add more olive oil as needed and top with grated parmigiano, black pepper, and red pepper flake, if desired. As long as you use a high quality olive oil and parmigiano (see my tips on olive oil and cheese, and how to buy), this minimalist recipe will taste restaurant quality. Of course you want to find good ravioli, as well. I used Giovanni Rana butternut squash ravioli in this recipe — the brand is delicious and easy to find at most grocery stores. (It’s also quite popular in Italy!)

Butternut Squash Ravioli with Kale in Cast Iron Skillet

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Butternut Squash Ravioli with Garlicky Kale

These butternut squash ravioli with garlicky kale are a weeknight savior. Using high quality ingredients like extra virgin olive oil and parmigiano elevate a store-bought pasta into something special. 

  • Author: A Tavola Kitchen
  • Prep Time: 5 minutes
  • Cook Time: 20 minutes
  • Total Time: 25 minutes
  • Yield: 4 servings 1x
  • Category: Dinner
  • Method: Stovetop
  • Cuisine: Italian
Scale

Ingredients

  • 2 tbsp of extra virgin olive oil, plus more for drizzling 
  • 12 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 35 kale leaves, leaves removed from stems and torn, stems finely chopped
  • 2 10 oz packages butternut squash ravioli, such as Giuseppe Rana (see note)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Red pepper flake, if desired
  • Grated parmigiano cheese

Instructions

  1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook ravioli according to package directions. 
  2. Meanwhile, heat 2 tbsp olive oil over medium-high heat in a cast iron skillet or heavy-bottomed pan. 
  3. Once oil is hot, add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds.
  4. Add chopped kale stems and cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Season generously with salt and pepper.
  5. Add torn kale leaves and mix well. Cover pan and cook until kale is tender and wilted, about 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  6. Once ravioli are ready, drain and toss with kale. Add more olive oil as needed. 
  7. Divide into bowls and top with grated parmigiano, black pepper, and red pepper flake if desired. 

Notes

  • I usually make this recipe with two packages of ravioli so that we have leftovers. It doesn’t need much adjusting if you go for 1 package, just use 3 kale stems instead of 5.

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