This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is part of a social shopper marketing insight campaign with Pollinate Media Group® & La Moderna but all my opinions are my own. #pmedia #MyExceptionalPasta #GoldenHarvest http://my-disclosur.es/OBsstV
This week I’m super excited for an annual party of mine- Friendsgiving. It’s something I started last year for my Young Living team and I plan on doing it every year. Cooking for people has been a love of mine since I was in high school. My best friend, Sarah, introduced me to the Food Network in the early 2000’s and I’ve been hooked ever since. I love taking unique spins on recipes or changing them up so they’re “fancy” while still being easy. One of my newest dishes that has become a fast favorite? My Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake with La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate!
There’s something about cooking that has always fascinated me. As a little girl, I would go to my Memaw and Pepaw’s house after school and I’d help make homemade flour tortillas. I had such joy rolling out the tortillas in different shapes! My Memaw and I would make the dough from scratch and would eat homemade macaroni and cheese while we waited for the dough to rise. I had the best memories at their house just cooking away. I loved watching my Memaw add freshly ground comino (that’s Spanish for cumin!) and garlic to her recipes, and how everything she made was amazingly delicious.
During the holidays, I remember cooking with my mom, my aunt, and my Grandma for Thanksgiving. Ruining Thanksgiving cornbread was a talent I once had (ha!) but I redeemed myself by making the green bean casserole. For Christmas, my Aunt Gloria would invite me to her home to make homemade Christmas cookies with my cousin Monica. It was always such a fun time and I looked forward to it each year.
There was just something about cooking that always fascinated and inspired me. I’m also really competitive so cooking was a way to compete with myself. How can I get the most reaction out of people that I feed? How can I get this meal to top the last one? Honestly- this Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake made with La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate takes the cake! Not only that, but since I’m working out with Camp Gladiator right now, I really am watching what I eat and I track my macros. I challenged myself to make this as lightened up as possible without sacrificing any flavor. I think you’ll agree with me that this dish is a perfect one to make during the holidays, for Friendsgiving, Thanksgiving, or even a Christmas Eve meal.
- Coconut oil cooking spray
- 20 oz uncooked butternut squash, fresh, peeled and cubed
- 1 box La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate
- 2 oz Pancetta, chopped
- 1¼ cups 2% milk
- 2 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 tsp minced garlic
- 1 tsp salt
- 1 tsp black pepper, freshly ground
- 1 Tbsp fresh thyme, fresh
- 2 Tbsp Sage, ground
- ½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- ¼ cup Shaved Parmesan cheese
- Preheat oven to 375ºF. Thinly coat a baking sheet with coconut oil cooking spray. Thinly coat a 9x11 glass baking dish with coconut oil cooking spray.
- Place butternut squash onto the baking sheet. Salt squash with 1 tsp salt. Roast about 20 to 30 minutes. Mash the butternut squash on the baking sheet and put to the side.
- Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. After the butternut squash has been roasting for about 10 minutes, cook the La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate for 7 minutes; drain and return to pot. Penne will be very al dente.
- In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring this mixture to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking constantly. Reduce heat to low and simmer, whisking until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from heat, stir in mashed butternut squash, thyme, and 1 tbsp sage. Add the sauce to the penne and mix with a silicone spatula.
- In a small pan, cook chopped pancetta until brown and crispy. Drain grease, set aside.
- Transfer the penne mixture to your oiled baking dish. Dot the top with small spoonfuls of ricotta and then sprinkle with parmesan and pancetta. Sprinkle remaining sage and bake until top is lightly browned in a few spots, about 15 to 20 minutes.
This Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake is definitely one of our newest meals for the Fall and Wintertime. It’s hearty and makes you feel like you’re being “bad” and eating comfort food, but it’s actually low in calories! The sage and thyme in the Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake are really what make this meal taste like the holidays, and honestly, the taste is so delicious, you won’t think it’s low calorie at all. Because I count my macros, I was able to eat a portion and have seconds- and I didn’t feel one bit guilty! I grabbed the La Moderna Golden Harvest Penne Rigate at Walmart. To find La Moderna where you live, check out their product locator.
I want this Low Calorie Butternut Squash and Pancetta Pasta Bake to become a staple in our home for the holidays. I want it to be that one meal that people remember years from now as being so delicious that they couldn’t get enough of it, just like I used to do with my Memaw, my Grandma, and my Aunt’s recipes. I want them to say, “Remember that pasta bake Stephanie made that one Friendsgiving? Oh man I really want some of that right now!” There’s something so wonderfully satisfying knowing that a recipe has left a mark on someone’s heart!