Light and Creamy Pasta Bake with Butternut Squash and Kale
Serves: 8 to 12
  • 1 pound bite-size pasta such as corkscrews or ziti
  • Salt
  • ½ cup prepared pesto
  • ¼ cup all-purpose flour
  • 1½ cups each: broth (chicken or vegetable), evaporated milk, and canned crushed tomatoes
  • 1 pound bag each: frozen butternut squash and frozen kale (or collard greens)
  • 12 ounces low-fat cheese such as Jarlsberg Lite, 8 ounces cubed and 4 ounces grated
  • ½ cup grated Parmesan cheese
  1. Adjust oven rack to middle position and heat oven to 400 degrees. Bring a generous 2 quarts of water and 1 tablespoon of salt to boil in a large soup kettle. Add pasta and, using back-of-the-box times as a guide, cook partially covered and stirring frequently at first to prevent sticking, until just tender. Drain pasta and return it to the pot.
  2. Meanwhile, heat pesto over medium-high heat in a soup kettle until it starts to sizzle. Whisk in flour to make a smooth paste. Whisk in broth and milk and cook until mixture starts to simmer and thicken up. Whisk in tomatoes; bring to a simmer. Stir in squash and kale; continue to simmer to heat through. Pour sauce over pasta, along with cubed cheese; toss to coat. Pour into a greased 13- by 9-inch baking dish and sprinkle with the grated grated cheese and Parmesan cheeses. Cover with foil and bake until bubbly and golden, about 20 minutes.  Uncover and broil until top is golden brown, about 5 minutes longer.
You can make this dish ahead and refrigerate it--just add about 10 minutes to the baking time.
Recipe by Three Many Cooks at