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Cavatappi Pasta with Butternut Squash Béchamel Sauce

Rich tasting butternut squash stands in for the traditional butter in this sauce, and no one will know you’ve added a burst of veggies to the dish, too! 

3 cups cubed, peeled butternut squash (about 1 pound) 

1 ½ cups low sodium chicken broth 

2 ½ cups fat free milk 

4 cloves garlic 

1 teaspoon kosher salt 

½ teaspoons freshly ground black pepper 

2 tablespoons fat free Greek yogurt 

1 ¼ cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyere cheese 

1 cup (4 ounces) grated Pecorino Romano Cheese 

¼ cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigianino-Reggiano cheese, divided 

1 pound uncooked cavatappi pasta 

Cooking spray 

1 teaspoon olive oil 

½ cup panko breadcrumbs 

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley 

Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Combine squash, broth, milk and garlic in a medium sauce pan; bring to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes.  

Place hot squash mixture in a blender.  Add salt, pepper and yogurt.  Remove the center piece of the blender (to allow for steam to escape); secure blender lid and blend until smooth.  Place clean towel over opening in blender lid to avoid splatters.  Place squash mixture in large bowl, stir in Gruyere, Pecorino Romano and 2 tablespoons of Parmigiano-Reggiano until combined. 

Cook pasta according to package directions omitting salt and oil; drain well.  Add pasta to squash mixture; stir until combined.  Spread mixture evenly into a 13”x9” glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.  

Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat.  Add panko bread crumbs; cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown.  Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigianino- Reggiano cheese.  Sprinkle panko mixture evenly over hot pasta; lightly coat topping with cooking spray.  Bake at 375 degrees for 25 minutes or until bubbly.  Remove from oven and sprinkle with parsley; serve immediately.  Makes 12 Servings (serving size: 1 cup) 

Per serving: 287 Calories, 27 mg Cholesterol, 8 g Fat, 5 g Saturated Fat, 405 mg Sodium, 38 g Carbohydrate, 2 g Fiber, 16 g Protein.

Adapted from: “Cooking Light” magazine. 

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