Monday, November 26, 2012

Butternut Squash Bake

When it comes to cooking with squash, I consider myself a newbie. My knowledge of squash varieties is fairly minimal and my arsenal of recipes for how to use it is rather small. But since I absolutely love the taste and texture of squash, I’m working on finding new ways to use this tasty, wholesome and relatively inexpensive vegetable this fall and winter.

As I was recently leafing through my stack of recipes to try, I ran across this one and decided to give it a shot. It’s now one of my new favorites! Designed to be a side dish, this is a great option to take to a family dinner. We ate it as a meatless meal and simply kept our portions in check with lots of steamed veggies on the side. Either way, be prepared to go back for seconds!

Butternut Squash Bake
From All-Time Favorites magazine

1 ½ lbs. butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
2 tbsp. olive oil
8 oz. dried extra-wide noodles
4 tbsp. butter
6 shallots, chopped
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 8-oz. carton mascarpone cheese
¾ c. grated Parmesan cheese
¼ c. fresh parsley leaves, snipped
¼ tsp. salt
¼ tsp. black pepper
1 c. panko bread crumbs

Pre-heat oven to 425 degrees. In a bowl toss squash in oil; place in oiled baking pan. Roast, uncovered, for 30 min. or until lightly browned and tender, stirring twice. Grease a 2-quart oval gratin dish or baking dish; set aside.

Meanwhile, in a 4-quart Dutch oven cook noodles according to package directions. Drain; set aside. In same Dutch oven melt 2 tbsp. of the butter. Add shallots; cook and stir on medium heat for 3 to 5 min. until shallots are tender and butter just begins to brown. Stir in lemon juice.

Add noodles and squash to shallot mixture. Stir in mascarpone, ½ cup of the Parmesan, ¼ cup of the parsley, salt and pepper. Transfer to the prepared baking dish.

In a small saucepan melt remaining 2 tbsp. butter; stir in panko, remaining Parmesan, and remaining parsley. Sprinkle over noodle mixture. Bake, uncovered, for 10 min. or until crumbs are golden.

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