Penne with Braised Squash & Greens
Convenient packages of peeled butternut squash are available in most supermarkets in the fall and winter. Teamed with Swiss chard and accented with smoky bacon, the chunky squash makes a satisfying pasta sauce.
4 slices reduced-fat center-cut bacon (2 ounces), chopped
1 medium onion, chopped (1 cup)
3 cloves garlic, minced
Pinch of crushed red pepper
1 1/2 cups reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch cubes (3 cups)
1 small bunch Swiss chard, stemmed and cut into 1-inch pieces (8 cups)
8 ounces whole-wheat penne, rigatoni or fusilli (2 cups)
1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese (1 ounce)
1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
Freshly ground pepper to taste
Vegetarian Variation: Substitute vegetable broth for chicken broth and 4 ounces cubed smoked tofu for the bacon. In Step 2, heat 2 teaspoons olive oil in the skillet. Add tofu and cook, stirring, until lightly browned, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate. Add onion to the pan and continue with the recipe.
Bring a large pot of lightly salted water to a boil for cooking the pasta.
Cook bacon in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat, stirring often, until crisp, 3 to 5 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel. Pour off fat and add onion to the pan; cook, stirring often, until softened and golden, 2 to 3 minutes. Add garlic and crushed red pepper; cook, stirring, for 30 seconds. Return the bacon to the pan and add broth and squash; bring to a simmer. Cover and cook for 10 minutes. Add chard and stir to immerse. Cover and cook until the squash and chard are tender, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and return to the pot. Add the squash mixture, Parmesan, salt and pepper; toss to coat. Serve immediately.
Makes 4 servings, 1 3/4 cups each.
Per serving: 352 calories; 6 g fat (2 g sat, 1 g mono); 18 mg cholesterol; 63 g carbohydrate; 16 g protein; 9 g fiber; 648 mg sodium.
Nutrition bonus: High fiber and 330% daily value vitamin A, 49 mg vitamin C (80% dv), 223 mg calcium (20% dv).
Per serving: 386 calories; 7 g fat (2 g sat, 3 g mono); 9 mg cholesterol; 66 g carbohydrate; 17 g protein; 10 g fiber; 715 mg sodium…to reduce sodium level, try using a salt substitute and ask your Dr. about an appropriate sodium level.