Recipe: Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

This recipe will comfort your mind and your taste buds. It's an earthy take on mac and cheese, with pumpkin, nutmeg, allspice, parsley and sage, and doesn't lack at all in the cheese department. This dish is hearty yet healthy, thanks to the creamy Greek yogurt, skim milk and low-fat cheeses. Less fattening than Fettucine Alfredo (and much prettier), this recipe is a must-have!

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Recipe: Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Yield: 6 servings

Serving size: 1 heaping cup

Ingredients

½ pound Campanelle pasta, dry

!Pumpkin Filling:

1 cup 100% [pure pumpkin|http://www.skinnymom.com/how-to-puree-a-pumpkin-video/]

1 cup part-skim milk ricotta

¼ cup diced sweet onion

2 egg whites, slightly beaten

½ cup reduced-fat Parmesan cheese

½ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt

⅛ teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

!White Sauce:

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

½ cup skim milk

6 ounces plain, nonfat Greek yogurt

2 tablespoons light butter

1 tablespoon fresh sage, chopped

2 tablespoons whole wheat flour

1 teaspoon dry mustard powder

½ teaspoon allspice

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

⅛ teaspoon of ground nutmeg

1 cup reduced-fat mozzarella shredded cheese

Instructions

    Cook the pasta according to directions until al dente. Drain well and set aside.

    To make the pumpkin filling: In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin puree, ricotta, onion, egg whites, Parmesan cheese, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and parsley. Mix well and set aside in fridge.

    Preheat oven to 375º F.

    To make the white sauce: In a small saucepan, over medium-low heat, stir broth, milk and yogurt until smooth, about 4 minutes. In a large saucepan (I used the same pot I boiled the pasta in), melt the butter over medium heat and add the chopped sage. Sauté for 2 minutes.

    Add the flour and cook for 3 more minutes. Add the hot broth and milk to the butter and flour mixture one-third at a time, whisking each time. Add the mustard powder, allspice, salt, pepper, and nutmeg. Stir to combine.

    Add pasta, stir to coat evenly then remove from heat.

    To assemble: In a 9x13-inch casserole dish, layer the ingredients as follows: ½ of the pasta and sauce, ½ of the pumpkin filling, ½ cup mozzarella then repeat.

    Bake uncovered in a 375º F oven until the top is golden and the dish is heated through and bubbly, 30-40 minutes.

Nutrition Information

Per Serving: (1 heaping cup)

Calories: 338

Calories from fat: 75

Fat: 10g

Saturated Fat: 2g

Cholesterol: 5mg

Sodium: 252mg

Carbohydrates: 56g

Fiber: 11g

Sugar: 7g

Protein: 10g

SmartPoints: 11

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