I found this recipe on one of the cooking blogs I read. It seems like it might be fairly reasonably low cal for a side dish - and also a great dish if you need to sneak some veggies into your kids food.
I plan to make it this week.
1/2 pound pasta w/ ridges, like penne, cavatappi, etc…
extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed & chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 -3 dashes hot pepper sauce
1 package frozen cooked/pureed butternut squash, or winter squash, defrosted & drained [I'll probably use a fresh one, roasted and pureed]
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 & 1/2 cups lowfat milk
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated or cubed (plus more for topping)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
freshly grated nutmeg
kosher salt and white pepper
2 -3 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375F. Set a large pot of salted water to boil, and cook the pasta for 4 -5 minutes less than the package directs you to. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot you cooked it in.
Step 2: Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and thyme, and cook until onions are soft and fragrant. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes, then whisk in the chicken stock. Add the defrosted squash until warmed (whisk until it is smooth, it will look like an orange paste)
Step 3: Whisk in the milk, along with the pepper sauce, mustard, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Allow the sauce to begin to bubble (that’s what will make it thicken!)
Step 4: Add the cheeses to the mixture, and stir until smooth.
Step 5: Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta, and stir to incorporate. If using a tubular pasta, make sure to stir very well so the sauce gets into the holes of the pasta.
Step 6: Transfer to a greased baking dish. Mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle over the pasta. Dot the top with the remaining cheddar cheese.
Step 7: Bake for 20 minutes.