This pasta casserole is a hearty yet elegant combination of whole wheat penne, rich butternut squash, toasted walnuts, ricotta and Parmesan cheese. From weightwatchers.com - 5 Points
- 20 ounces butternut squash, fresh, peeled and cubed
- 1⁄8 teaspoon table salt
- 12 ounces whole wheat penne
- 1 1⁄4 cups skim milk
- 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 2 teaspoons garlic, minced
- 1⁄2 teaspoon salt
- 1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 tablespoon fresh thyme, chopped, divided
- 1⁄2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1⁄3 cup parmesan cheese, grated
- 1⁄4 cup walnuts, chopped & toasted
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Coat a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.
- Place squash on prepared baking sheet; roast until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Place in a large bowl and mash.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. After squash has been roasting for about 10 minutes, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pot.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in mashed squash and 2 1/2 teaspoons of thyme. Add sauce to pasta; toss to mix and coat.
- Transfer pasta mixture to prepared baking dish; dot with spoonfuls of ricotta and then sprinkle with Parmesan and walnuts. Bake until top is lightly browned in a few spots, about 15 to 20 minutes; remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of thyme.
I've made this recipe three times this Fall already and will be making it again tomorrow. Great meal that is even better for leftovers - Followed the recipe exactly the first time, but since then I have added sauted onions, mushrooms, garlic and spinach to the squash mixture. Thank you for this great seasonal recipe!
This was so lovely! I am amazed at how flavorful the sauce was, even before adding the squash. That could, of course, be due to the fact that I at least doubled the garlic!! I don't know that I would change a thing...I guess roasting a sliced onion to add to the sauce might be a nice touch, but definitely not necessary. I was short on thyme (aren't we all LOL!) so I used a mixture of sage and thyme. It was a beautiful early fall dish. My non-adventurous DH didn't love it, but if there are no tomatoes with his pasta he thinks something is wrong...argh. Thanks so much for posting!!
I added a few cups of chickpeas along with the pasta to up the protein. I also tripled the garlic and added basil along with the thyme, but I still found this dish rather bland. I'm not sure I'd make it again, but if I did, I'd substitute goat cheese instead of ricotta for more flavor. And I'd use more salt.