With all the sweets and rich food we’ve enjoyed over the holidays now behind us and a fresh new year ahead of us, it’s a good time to start eating lighter foods. It’s not always easy to make that transition, but this pasta can help. It tastes so good that you’ll think it should be full of fat and calories. Luckily, thanks to lower fat turkey bacon and a creamy cheese sauce made without butter or cream, this dish is actually very light. It also has nutritious squash and spinach.
It takes a bit of time to make it because the squash is roasted in the oven, but you could cook it on the stovetop instead if you’re short on time. I just love the flavour of slow roasted squash.
Cole is not a squash fan, but he does love bacon, so he gave this a so-so rating. Bennett and Ayla loved it all! I can always tell when Ayla likes something, because she hardly drops any of it on the floor. The floor was practically spotless after this meal.
Butternut Squash and Bacon Penne
6 strips turkey bacon, diced
3 cups diced and peeled butternut squash
1 tsp olive oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 tsp dried rosemary
2 cups penne
1 1/2 tbsp flour
1 1/2 cup milk
1/4 tsp salt
1/2 cup grated cheddar cheese
2 cups fresh baby spinach
1/2 cup grated mozzarella cheese
- Coat butternut squash with olive oil, garlic and rosemary. Spread squash onto a baking sheet lined with parchment paper and roast at 400 F for 45 minutes.
- Fry bacon over medium heat until crisp. Set aside.
- Boil water and cook penne according to package directions.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, flour and salt. Bring to a boil, whisking continuously until thickened.
- Remove sauce from heat, then stir in cheddar cheese.
- Combine roasted squash, cooked bacon, cheese sauce, cooked penne and fresh baby spinach.
- Pour into a baking dish and sprinkle with mozzarella cheese.
- Bake at 400F for 10 minutes.