Another dish that combines a few of my favorites: pasta, roasted butternut squash, and a creamy sauce. I told you it was pumpkin season and I decided to take a full advantage of it. Starting in early October my pantry is full of all sorts of pumpkins, squashes, and zucchinis waiting for me to come up with some creative dishes. They are one of the best staples of fall cuisine and I just can't get enough of them. They are cheap, super versatile and delicious. Check out one of my recent creations, a creamy pasta loaded with vitamins!
* 1 lb penne or ziti pasta
* 1 medium butternut squash
* 1 large onion, chopped
* 10 slices turkey bacon
* 1 cup green peas, frozen and thawed
* 1/2 cup sun-dried tomatoes, chopped
* 1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
* 2 tbsp butter
* 2 tbsp flour
* 2 cups fat free milk
* 2 tbsp olive oil
* salt and pepper
* pinch of nutmeg
1. Cut butternut squash into 1-inch cubes, place on a baking sheet, cover with 2 tbsp of olive oil, salt and pepper, and bake at 420F for 20-30 minutes. Set aside.
2. In a meantime cook pasta until al dente. Chop turkey bacon into small pieces, crisp it in a skillet and set aside.
3. In the same skillet melt 2 tbsp of butter and saute chopped onions for 5-6 minutes. Add 2 tbsp of flour, cook for 2-3 minutes, add 2 cups of milk, salt, pepper and nutmeg, and whisk everything to create smooth sauce. Cook for 5 minutes until the sauce thickens, add green peas and Parmesan cheese and mix everything together.
4. In a deep bowl mix together sauce with cooked pasta, sun-dried tomatoes, baked butternut squash, and crisped bacon. Toss everything gently to combine and it's ready to serve.
Look at those colors, you can tell it's a great dish just by looking at it. Creamy, buttery (from the squash, not the butter!), crunchy, and just heavenly! Perfect way to pump up pasta with healthy vegetables and not feel guilty about it!