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Wednesday, October 15, 2008

come on and take a ride!

The Fit Train is rolling through again! Be sure to check out Mojito Maven's post today on Weight Watchers Wednesday.

Check out our new button that Nina made! If you are following Weight Watchers Wednesdays, please post this button on your sidebar. Also, if you do a post on your own about your Weight Watchers Wednesday journey, you can also post the button on there. Our hope is that everyone will hop on board that is struggling or has ever struggled with their weight. We all have different issues-- some of us our skinny and want to tone up. Some of us gained "happy fat" and want to lose it. Whatever your story, we're happy you're a part of this!



This is the recipe I'm going to try tonight! I love squash and ricotta and especially love pasta! I'll let you all know how it turns out.

Baked Pasta with Butternut Squash and Ricotta


POINTS® Value: 5

Servings: 8

Preparation Time: 25 min

Cooking Time: 60 min

Level of Difficulty: Moderate

Ingredients

2 spray(s) cooking spray
20 oz butternut squash, fresh, peeled and cubed*
1/8 tsp table salt, for cooking pasta
12 oz uncooked whole-wheat pasta, penne
1 1/4 cup(s) fat-free skim milk
2 tbsp white all-purpose flour
2 tsp minced garlic
1/2 tsp table salt
1/4 tsp black pepper, freshly ground, or to taste
1 tbsp thyme, fresh, chopped, divided
1/2 cup(s) part-skim ricotta cheese
1/3 cup(s) grated Parmesan cheese, Parmigiano-Reggiano recommended
1/4 cup(s) chopped walnuts, toasted

Instructions
Preheat oven to 375ºF. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray. Coat a 2 1/2- to 3-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

Place squash on prepared baking sheet; roast until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Place in a large bowl and mash.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. After squash has been roasting for about 10 minutes, cook pasta according to package directions; drain and return to pot.

In a medium saucepan, whisk together milk, flour, garlic, salt and pepper. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat, whisking frequently; reduce heat to low and simmer, stirring often, until thickened, about 2 minutes. Remove from heat; stir in mashed squash and 2 1/2 teaspoons of thyme. Add sauce to pasta; toss to mix and coat.

Transfer pasta mixture to prepared baking dish; dot with spoonfuls of ricotta and then sprinkle with Parmesan and walnuts. Bake until top is lightly browned in a few spots, about 15 to 20 minutes; remove from oven and sprinkle with remaining 1/2 teaspoon of thyme. Yields about 1 cup per serving.

Place squash on prepared baking sheet; roast until tender, about 20 to 30 minutes. Place in a large bowl and mash.

Notes
*Look for a 20 ounce bag of fresh, already peeled and cubed squash from your supermarket. If you can't find any, cut a medium squash in half lengthwise and place cut-side down on prepared baking sheet; roast until tender, about 45 minutes. Scoop squash out of skin into a large bowl, mash with a spoon and proceed as above.Alternatively, you can microwave cubed squash, covered, in a shallow microwave-safe baking dish or container with 1/4 cup of water, until cooked through; mash squash in a bowl.