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Tuesday, March 9, 2010, Issue No. 286

Sweet and Savory in One Pot

Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash.jpg
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Mix up your traditional pasta with sweet butternut squash. This versatile vegetable can be found at any grocery store or local farmers' market through the end of winter. The mild, earthy flavor of baked squash is enhanced with the addition of sage and nutmeg to make a savory-sweet entrée. A delicious one-pot meal, it's also an excellent source of vitamins A and C.

Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash

  • 1 package (16 oz.) whole-grain rigatoni pasta
  • 2 Tbsp. extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 5 shallots, sliced (about 1 cup)
  • 2 cloves garlic minced
  • Salt and freshly ground pepper, to taste
  • 1 butternut squash (about 2 lbs.), peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch chunks
  • 5 medium sage leaves, chopped (about 1 1/2-2 Tbsp.)
  • 1 (14 oz.) can reduced-sodium vegetable broth
  • 1 1/2 cups low-fat (1 %) milk
  • 1/2 tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4 Tbsp. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided
  • 1/2 cup whole-wheat bread crumbs

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.

Cook pasta per package directions, but cut cooking time by 2 minutes since pasta will keep cooking in the oven. Drain and set aside.

In medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil. Add shallots and cook until golden, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally and being careful not to burn. Add garlic and cook 1 minute. Season with salt and pepper.

Add squash and cook, covered, stirring often, about 10 minutes. Add sage and broth. Cook uncovered 15 minutes or until vegetables are tender and most of the liquid is absorbed. Add milk and heat through.Add grated nutmeg. Add salt and pepper, to taste.

Meanwhile, spoon pasta into 9x13 ceramic baking dish. Add 2 tablespoons Parmesan cheese to pasta and toss until well mixed. Add squash mixture and mix well. Sprinkle with bread crumbs and remaining Parmesan.

Bake 30 minutes or until center is hot and top is golden. If desired, drizzle an additional 1 tablespoon of high quality extra virgin olive oil over pasta before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

Per serving: 360 calories, 7 g total fat (1.5 g saturated fat), 63 g carbohydrate,
13 g protein, 7 g dietary fiber, 300 mg sodium.

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