Saturday, November 12, 2011

Cheesy Pasta Goodness with Butternut Squash

On a particularly windy, rainy and cold day, I felt like making some comfort food.  What could be more comforting than a steamy, cheesy, butternut squashy bowl of goodness?  I found the following recipe in Cooking Light (March 2004) - have you figured out yet that I love this magazine?

I've recently been trying to incorporate even more varieties of vegetables into my menus and butternut squash happens to be a favorite right now.  Butternut squash is not only really tasty, it's also an amazing source of Vitamins A and C, potassium, dietary fiber and manganese.  It's also a good source of folate and omega 3 fatty acids and contains about 80 calories per one cup serving.  If you're looking for a way to incorporate winter squash into your menu, try this recipe.  It does have a number of steps but it's worth every one of them.  This recipe goes particularly well with roasted Brussels sprouts or roasted broccoli. 

Roasted Butternut Squash Pasta with Bacon


  • 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
  • Cooking spray
  • 6 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw) (I used 4 because that's all I had)
  • 1 cup thinly sliced shallots (I used yellow onion)
  • 8 ounces uncooked mini penne (tube-shaped pasta)
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk (I used 1% milk)
  • 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese (I used a blend of provolone and mozzarella)
  • 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese


Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450°.
Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and shallots; set aside.
Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.
Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.

If you make the original recipe (serves 5), the nutrition facts are as follows:
Calories 469; Fat 14.4g; Sat Fat 7.3g; Protein 22.1g; Carbs 66.6g; Fiber 6.8g; Cholesterol 40mg; Iron 3.5mg; Sodium 849mg; Calcium 443mg

You can lower the calories, total and saturated fat levels by using less bacon and 1% milk.

1 comment:

  1. I made this today! I used only 4 slices of bacon, too- thats all I had as well.. and skipped the 2% milk and subbed for skim. Came out just as thick and creamy! Baked them up in individual dishes for easy portion control. You are so right.. Creamy, cheesy goodness :)