Baking with Olivia and Caroline


By Published On: January 2nd, 2024

This month’s recipe has me missing summer big time! I had the pleasure of having Caroline and Jane, my two youngest daughters, live with me this past summer. They had decided to move back home for a few months to save money before their big (separate) moves. 

We ate together as a family most nights during the week. Many of those nights we dined out on the patio and afterwards played some pretty intense games of badminton! It was so competitive that we would play well after dark with our light-up birdies. If you haven’t played badminton in the dark with a light up birdie, we highly recommend it! 

Both of my daughters are into gardening and working with plants. This summer we planted kale, lettuce, herbs, squash, flowers, peas, and broccoli in our raised beds. Some did much better than others, but nothing grew better than the kale did. No pests or disease and they grew prolifically. Definitely more than we knew how to process if we’re being honest. 

Late one summer evening, I came home from work to find Caroline and Jane in the kitchen chopping kale and squash from the garden. They said that they were going to make pasta. We only got three butternuts this year due to our resident rabbit who ate the best one right before we were going to harvest it. Jane was the creator of this recipe, so I want to make sure she gets all the props. This was a clean out the fridge/garden dinner. We worked with what we had on hand. That ended up being this delicious roasted butternut squash, kale, and sausage pasta. 

I was pretty fortunate that my three daughters were not picky eaters as little kids. They loved their fruits and veggies. It helped that their paternal grandmother owned a fruit and vegetable farm. We never had a shortage of fresh fruit and veggies. However, If you have kids that are picky little eaters, you could totally pass this off as mac and cheese. You could also swap out the kale for broccoli and even omit the sausage.  

Fun facts: Whole butternut squash can last for 1-3 months after harvesting, and kale can actually become sweeter after the first frost. It is nice to have fresh veggies from the garden during the late fall and beginning of winter.



1 medium butternut squash
2 tbs olive oil
1 tsp Herbs de Provence
Salt and pepper
16 oz pasta (we prefer shells)
4 tbs butter
1-2 cups chicken stock
1 shallot, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
1 lb andouille sausage, cut into ½” discs
2 cups kale, stems removed and roughly chopped
½ cup sour cream
3-4 fresh sage leaves or ¾ tsp dried
½ tsp paprika
½ cup sour cream
⅓ cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese 


Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Cut the bottom and top off the squash and peel the skin off with a vegetable peeler. Scrape out the seeds with a spoon and discard or you can clean and roast the seeds for a garnish or some light snacking. Cut the flesh into 1-2” chunks and place onto a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, herbs de Provence, and salt and pepper. Toss/stir to coat each piece. Roast for 25-35 minutes or until easily pierced with a fork. 

While the squash is roasting, it’s time for mise en place – getting properly set up for the next steps! 

Prep your garlic, kale (make sure to remove the tough stems), shallot, and sausage. Salt the pasta water, set it on the heat, and while waiting for it to boil, start your browned butter. Add butter and sage to a small saucepan over medium heat. Stir constantly for 5-8 minutes or until golden brown. It should smell buttery and nutty. Immediately remove from heat as it can burn very easily. 

Blend chicken stock and squash  together in a blender or food processor; pour mixture into a large bowl, and add the browned butter and sour cream, paprika, salt and pepper. If it is too thick, add more stock until you get a creamy texture. Set aside.

Your pasta water should be boiling by now! Cook pasta according to directions on the package. Reserve about two cups of pasta water. Set aside pasta and water. 

Tip: You can drizzle the pasta with a bit of olive oil to prevent it from sticking together.

In a Dutch oven or large saute pan over medium heat, heat 1 tbs of olive oil, and add sausage. Cook until browned, 2-5 minutes. Remove from pan and set aside. In the same pan, add chopped shallot and saute until translucent. Add minced garlic and cook until fragrant; approximately one minute. Do not brown. Add in chopped kale and cook, stirring until it begins to wilt. Add about a ¼ cup of reserved pasta water and cover the pot. Cook until completely wilted, about 4 minutes. Add cooked sausage and roasted butternut squash to pot and toss with cooked pasta. If the consistency is too thick, continue to add more chicken stock or reserved pasta water.  Serve with extra grated Parmesan cheese and enjoy! •

Olivia and Caroline are enthusiastic foodies and bakers who are constantly in the kitchen, as well as explorers who create their own adventures in our area – and did we mention they are mother and daughter? Follow Olivia on Instagram to see her many creations at @oliviawvalentine.