Tuesday, November 10, 2009

Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Turkey Bacon

The trouble with photographing a lot of "autumn dishes" is that they have a tendency to look very dull. And, in the case of this particular recipe, using whole grain penne didn't help much.

Please don't let the photo make your decision, read the description: hearty penne pasta mixed with sweet, roasted butternut squash, smoky turkey bacon, and steamed spinach; cloaked in a light, yet creamy, sauce spiked with smoked gouda and fresh sage.

It takes a while to put together, but well worth the effort (like, for example, with a lasagna!). And if you make it for only 4 or 6 people, there will be leftovers. :)

* Exported from MasterCook *

Penne with Roasted Butternut Squash, Spinach, and Turkey Bacon

Recipe By : Vicci
Servings : 10


1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 3/4 pounds butternut squash -- (approximately 36 ounces after peeling and removing seeds)

16 ounces whole wheat pasta

10 slices turkey bacon
1 tablespoon canola oil
1 3/4 cups sweet onion -- (thinly sliced)
1 tablespoon minced garlic
8 ounces spinach -- coarsely chopped

1/3 cup all-purpose flour
3 cups skim milk
14 ounces low-sodium chicken broth

5 ounces smoked Gouda cheese -- shredded
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
3 tablespoons fresh sage -- (minced)
1/2 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper -- or hot pepper sauce

2 ounces Parmesan cheese -- grated

Preheat oven to 425F. Coat a large baking dish (about 5 quart capacity) with cooking spray and set aside.

Peel and seed squash, chop into 3/4" pieces. Spray a large baking sheet with cooking spray and add squash; sprinkle with salt and pepper and bake for about 30 minutes or until tender. Remove from oven and set adise, but do not turn the oven off.

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and cook the penne until al dente. When done, drain, toss with a little olive oil to prevent sticking, and set aside.

While squash bakes and pasta cooks, fry turkey bacon in a large nonstick skillet until crisp. Drain on paper towels, chop, and set aside.

In the same skillet, drizzle about 1 teaspoon olive oil and saute onions over medium heat until golden and soft, about 8 minutes. Add garlic, stir, add spinach, and stir for a minute or two, until the spinach wilts. Remove from heat and set aside.

Place flour in a large saucepot. Slowly add the milk to the flour, whisking vigorously to prevent lumps. Place over medium-high heat and cook, whisking constantly, until the mixture comes to a boil. Boil for one minute, whisking constantly. Slowly add the chicken broth, still whisking constantly, and keep it up until your arm falls off or the mixture returns to a boil. Remove the saucepan from the heat and stir in the smoked gouda, salt, pepper, sage, and chipotle pepper (or hot sauce).

Depending on the size of the skillet or saucepot, or using a very large bowl if necessary, mix together the cooked penne, cheese sauce, and spinach mixture until combined. Gently fold in the roasted squash, and pour the mixture into the large baking pan. Spray the surface of the penne mixture with cooking spray and cover with foil.

Bake at 425F for about 15 minutes, remove foil, and continue to bake for another 10 minutes or until bubbly. Remove from oven and allow to rest for 5 minutes before serving.

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Per serving: 391 Calories (kcal); 11g Total Fat; (24% calories from fat); 21g Protein; 57g Carbohydrate; 33mg Cholesterol; 642mg Sodium
Food Exchanges: 3 Grain(Starch); 1 1/2 Lean Meat; 1/2 Vegetable; 0 Fruit; 1 1/2 Fat; 0 Other Carbohydrates

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