I feel like this recipe is almost too good to be true! Bacon, pasta and cheese sauce…for under 500 calories a serving? Are you kidding me? It may seem too good to be true but luckily for me it wasn’t. I added one slice of gruyere cheese to my cheese sauce, mostly because it needed to be used and I knew it would compliment the smoky flavor of the bacon and the nuttiness of the butternut squash. The recipe calls for provolone but a part skim mozzarella would work just as well. This was a fantastic recipe and the portion was pretty large, all in all it made me one happy lady!
- 3/4 teaspoon salt, divided
- 1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 3 cups (1-inch) cubed peeled butternut squash
- Cooking spray
- 6 sweet hickory-smoked bacon slices (raw)
- 1 cup thinly sliced shallots (about 3 large shallots)
- 8 ounces uncooked mini penne (tube-shaped pasta)
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 2 cups 2% reduced-fat milk
- 3/4 cup (3 ounces) shredded sharp provolone cheese
- 1/3 cup (1 1/2 ounces) grated fresh Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425°.
Combine 1/4 teaspoon salt, rosemary, and pepper. Place squash on a foil-lined baking sheet coated with cooking spray; sprinkle with salt mixture. Bake at 425° for 45 minutes (I cubed mine a little smaller and it only took about 30 minutes) or until tender and lightly browned. Increase oven temperature to 450°.
Cook the bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat until crisp. Remove bacon from pan, reserving 1 1/2 teaspoons drippings in pan; crumble bacon. Increase heat to medium-high. Add shallots to pan; sauté 8 minutes or until tender. Combine squash mixture, bacon, and shallots; set aside.
Cook pasta according to the package directions, omitting salt and fat. Drain well.
Combine flour and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Gradually add milk, stirring constantly with a whisk; bring to a boil. Cook 1 minute or until slightly thick, stirring constantly. Remove from heat. Add provolone, stirring until cheese melts. Add pasta to cheese mixture, tossing well to combine. Spoon pasta mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish lightly coated with cooking spray; top with squash mixture. Sprinkle evenly with Parmesan cheese. Bake at 450° for 10 minutes or until cheese melts and begins to brown.