Recipe: Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

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(Photo: Skinny Mom / PopCulture.com)

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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(Photo: Skinny Mom / PopCulture.com)

Recipe: Cheesy Pumpkin Pasta Bake

Prep time: 20 minutes
Cook time: 40 minutes
Yield: 6 servings
Serving size: 1 heaping cup

Ingredients

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  • ½ pound Campanelle pasta, dry
  • 1 cup 100% pure pumpkin
  • 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
  • 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

  1. Cook the pasta according to directions until al dente. Drain well and set aside.
  2. 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.
  3. Preheat oven to 375ºF.
  4. 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.
  5. 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.
  6. Add pasta, stir to coat evenly then remove from heat.
  7. 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.
  8. Bake uncovered in a 375ºF 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
WWP+: 10
SmartPoints: 11