This week's meal is coming at you from Cooking Light! We LOVE Cooking Light and Cooking Light recipes. We love Cooking Light because at one point our own Sal worked there. And when she worked there she may or may not have been in charge of the Cooking Light Ship Shape Cruise, and she may or may not have brought Liv along on the Cooking Light Ship Shape cruise her second year of running it.
And on this particular Ship Shape Cruise, we may or may not have become besties with running coach extraordinaire and ship shape cruise talent, Jenny Hadfield. But that's a little teaser...for future stories.
Back to the dish at hand. We love Cooking Light recipes because while they are light yes, they do not compromise taste. It's like they figure out the optimal level of healthiness and tastiness simultaneously.
Today's cooking light recipe is "Roasted Butternut Squash and Bacon Pasta" - perfect use of one of our favorite fall vegetables! Even the hubster who claims he doesn't like butternut squash, was a fan. The one way in which I altered this recipe is where it called for penne pasta, I used whole wheat penne pasta. I thought it was an easy way to make the dish even healthier without sacrificing taste. So without further ado....the recipe:
Yield: 5 servings
- 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)
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallots
- 8 ounces uncooked mini penne (tube-shaped pasta) - or whole wheat penne, healthy grains and tastes great too!
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
- 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. (note - I do not have a Dutch oven, yet I've got a Le Creuset one I've been drooling over on my wish list. But a normal sauce pan worked just fine) 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.
Okay - tisk tisk, shame on me....I'm, still training my brian to remember to take pictures after my adventures in the kitchen, and with this one I plum forgot. So picture credit goes to Cooking Light.com (which is, I'm quite sure, much better than the one I would have taken myself.)