Friday, February 20, 2009

Roasted Butternut Squash and 'Bacon' Pasta

Buying pre-chopped butternut squash in the produce section is a nice time-saver for this warm pasta casserole. As far as cheeses go, the original recipe called for 1/4 cup plus 2 tablespoons provolone in the sauce, and 3 tablespoons Parmesan to be sprinkled on top. In place of both, try shredding the vegan mozzarella block from Galaxy Foods.

Start by placing 1 and 1/2 cups (1-inch) cubed butternut squash on a baking sheet, lined with aluminum foil and coated with cooking spray. In a small bowl, combine 1/4 tsp. dried rosemary, 1/8 tsp. salt and 1/8 tsp. black pepper, and sprinkle evenly over the squash. Bake at 425 degrees for 45 minutes.

Coat a medium skillet with cooking spray over medium heat, and cook 3 slices of vegan bacon (such as Smart Bacon) according to package directions. Remove from the pan and crumble (I actually find that vegan bacon crumbles better if you cook it a minute or so longer than package directions). Increase the heat to medium-high and add 1/2 cup thinly sliced shallots to the skillet; saute for about 8 minutes until tender (I stopped at 6 minutes). Combine the roasted squash, the 'bacon' crumbles and the shallots, and set aside.

Cook 4 ounces of penne pasta according to package directions - that's about one cup of dry pasta, but use a kitchen scale if you have one for the best accuracy. The original recipe actually specified to use mini penne, but since I couldn't find this slightly smaller shape in an organic version, I used the organic regular-sized penne from De Cecco.

While the pasta cooks, add 2 tablespoons all-purpose flour and 1/4 tsp. salt to a saucepan over medium-high heat. Gradually stir in 1 cup plain soy milk (such as Silk) stirring with a whisk the whole time. Bring to a boil, then cook for 1 minute until slightly thickened, still stirring constantly.

Remove from heat and stir in the 'provolone' (see above) until melted. Add the pasta and toss to coat. Spoon into an 8x8-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray. Spoon the squash mixture evenly over the top of the pasta, and sprinkle evenly with the 'Parmesan'.

Bake in the oven at 450 degrees for 10 minutes. About 1 and 1/2 cups of the pasta is 470 calories.

butternut squash $3.26
vegan bacon $3.39
shallots $0.88
penne $2.99
plain soy milk $2.39

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The Vegan Pantry

  • Vegan yogurt - Whole Soy
  • Vegan milk - Silk
  • Vegan Feta - Sunergia
  • Vegan Cheese - Galaxy Foods
  • Vegan Eggs - Ener-G
  • Vegan Butter - Earth Balance