You'll probably notice in the next few days that I, for some reason, am really wanting squash and root vegetables. I have no idea why. So this recipe was perfect! My roux mixture never quite thickened up, even after baking, so that was a little disappointing. And husband accidentally purchased some pungent sheep's-milk Pecorino Romano rather than the fresh Parmesan I'd asked him to pick up, but that worked pretty well anyway. Wouldn't do it again, but it wasn't bad. I'd probably toss in some rosemary if we make it again, because everything is better with rosemary. I would probably make this again though. It was quite tasty.
Butternut Squash and Parsnip Baked Pasta
Cooking Light, November 2002
This meatless dish combines two autumn vegetables that I love. It's warming, spicy, and very satisfying. It's homey enough to serve on weeknights and festive enough to serve during the holidays.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup finely chopped onion
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper
2 garlic cloves -- minced
2 cups cubed peeled butternut squash -- (1/2-inch)
1 cup chopped parsnip
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried rubbed sage
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried parsley
1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground allspice
1/2 teaspoon salt -- divided
1/2 teaspoon black pepper -- divided
2 cups uncooked penne pasta
1/2 cup grated fresh Parmesan cheese -- (2 ounces) divided
1 1/2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup 1% low-fat milk
1. Preheat oven to 375°.
2. Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat. Add onion, red pepper, and garlic; sauté 3 minutes. Add squash and parsnip; sauté 10 minutes. Stir in sage, parsley, nutmeg, allspice, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/4 teaspoon black pepper; remove from heat.
3. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain in a colander over a bowl, reserving 1 cup cooking liquid. Combine squash mixture, pasta, and 1/4 cup cheese in an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, tossing gently to combine.
4. Melt butter in a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add flour; cook 3 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add milk; cook 5 minutes, stirring constantly with a whisk. Gradually add reserved cooking liquid; cook 2 minutes or until thick, stirring constantly with a whisk. Add 1/4 teaspoon salt and 1/4 teaspoon pepper.
5. Pour milk mixture over pasta mixture; sprinkle with 1/4 cup cheese. Bake at 375° for 30 minutes or until lightly browned.