Monday, January 9, 2012

Baked Pasta

Comfort food.  When you hear those words, what comes to mind for you? Mashed potatoes, meatloaf, macaroni and cheese, pizza, brownies? 

Well, for me a comfort food, which I'm careful to not allow often, is baked pasta usually in the form of macaroni and cheese.  The Jan/Feb 2012 issue of Cooking Light, fed right into this love.  So I settled on the Bacon and Butternut Pasta on page 90.

You can find this recipe at the link above.  The Recipe Finder site is bookmarked for me because it holds all the Cooking Light recipes.

You start this recipe by chopping up your butternut squash and putting it in the oven to roast.

Next, you make your bacon, start your sauce, and shred your cheese.  I forgot to get Gruyere, so used swiss.  I think it also helps to have happy bacon.  This fall I went in with some friends and shared a pig from a local farmer that was raised naturally in Star Valley, WY.  The meat is so good and the farmer kept saying it's because they are happy pigs.  :)

The ingredient that sold me on this pasta?  No, it wasn't the bacon, even though I do believe one can't go wrong with bacon.  Those of you that have been here for awhile guessed it - Kale!  I actually increased the amounts of squash and kale and decreased the pasta.  Ok, ok yes I have to admit, I also increased the amount of cheese - maybe not so light anymore!

It's hard to make baked pasta look great on a plate.  I paired this with a Walnut, Pear, arugula salad and a port vinaigrette. 

My dear husband very much enjoyed this meal.  I hope you have a chance to enjoy some of your own comfort foods this winter!

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