You will love this hearty fall pasta salad inspired by Heidi Swanson: the current chef at I Heart Cooking Clubs. She combines ravioli with caramelized onions and hearty chard and tops the whole thing with butternut squash “croutons” and roasted hazelnuts. It’s not too heavy but still acknowledges the change in our appetites as the days grow shorter.
The main ingredients are prepared separately and combined together to make the salad. If you’re into meal planning, a salad like this is perfect for using up planned leftovers. For the “croutons” I used the butternut squash from a gratin I made earlier. The caramelized onions are an ingredient I frequently prepare in batches and keep on hand. The other ingredients take much less time to cook.
I chose mezzaluni stuffed with mushrooms but feel free to use any ravioli you’d like. Since I sauteed the chard in oil I skipped a standard dressing and just added a squeeze of lemon juice over the top. The salad was tasty and filling, everything you’d expect a fall pasta salad to be!
- 1 handful toasted hazelnuts
- 1 cup caramelized onions
- 1 cup roasted butternut squash cut into cubes
- 1 package fresh ravioli or other stuffed pasta, your choice of fillings (I used mushroom)
- 1 bunch swiss chard, deveined and cut into strips
- ½ cup grated parmesan cheese plus more for garnish
- chopped chives or parsley for garnish
- salt and pepper to taste
- olive oil
- red pepper flakes (optional)
- juice and zest of a lemon
- If the hazelnuts, onions and butternut squash aren't already prepared, do that before starting the pasta.
- Cook the pasta according to the directions on the package. Drain and toss in a small amount of olive oil to prevent sticking.
- While the pasta is cooking brown the butternut squash in a small amount of olive oil to make the "croutons"
- Heat a small amount of olive oil and red pepper flakes in a large skillet. Add the onions and warm through. Stir in the swiss chard and when it wilts, add half the toasted hazelnuts and the grated cheese. Season with a nice squeeze of lemon juice, salt and pepper.
- Gently add the ravioli and stir to mix with the chard.
- To serve, transfer the chard and ravioli to a platter and garnish with the remaining hazelnuts, chives, lemon zest and more cheese.
You can see the versatility of this simple salad. It’s basically mix and match any pasta with a hearty green plus a few other veggies. Feel free to experiment by making substitutions that fit your dietary needs.
Please drop by I Heart Cooking Clubs to see what the other members have done with their squash.