Whole wheat pasta baked in the oven with a quick pumpkin sauce made with bacon, shallots, pecorino cheese and a touch of rosemary then topped with mozzarella cheese. This is such a great Fall dish and my husband loved how it turned out!
I'm really excited to share this pasta dish, because I finally found a brand of whole wheat pasta that me and my family actually likes. Even my husband couldn't believe it was whole wheat and thought they had to be lying. The brand is Delallo, and I honestly can't say enough good things about them.
It's definitely more of a high end pasta in price, but for me good pasta is worth paying more for. Not only is their pasta 100% whole grain, it's also organic and cut with bronze plates which is always my favorite kind of pasta. But what really gets me excited is they sell their whole wheat pasta in every pasta shape you can think of, from standard spaghetti, linguini and penne, to the more exotic shapes like orecchiette, gemelli and fusilli bucati just to name a few. I found a few of those shapes in my local supermarket, but you can also buy them on their website.
Back to this pasta dish, I wanted to make this quick so I opted for canned pumpkin. But you can make your own homemade pumpkin puree which in my opinion always tastes best! You could also use butternut squash in place of pumpkin if you wish and if you're eating gluten free you can certainly use brown rice pasta.
Canned pumpkin really has no taste, so I added flavor my sauteeing some bacon and shallots, then I added a little fresh rosemary and Pecorino Romano to mimick a pumpkin pasta gnocchi dish I love ordering out, then thinned it out with some chicken broth. My husband just happened to walk in the door when it was ready, and I love getting his opinion because he's brutally honest – and he loved it and even went back for seconds.
Baked Penne with Pecorino Pumpkin Sauce
Servings: 4 • 1 generous cup • Old Points: 6 pts • Points+: 8 pts
Calories: 307 • Fat: 7 g • Protein: 16 g • Carb: 49 g • Fiber: 8 g • Sugar: 5 g
Sodium: 237 mg (without salt) • Cholesterol: 14 mg
- 8 oz Delallo uncooked whole wheat pasta (use brown rice pasta for GF)
- 2 slices center cut bacon, chopped
- 1 shallot, minced
- 15 oz homemade or canned pumpkin puree
- 1 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
- 3 tbsp grated Pecorino Romano cheese
- salt and fresh pepper to taste
- 1/2 tsp fresh rosemary, chopped
- 1/4 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded part skim mozzarella (I recommend: Polly-O)
Preheat oven to 375°F. Spray a 9x9-inch baking pan with oil spray. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.
Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat add chopped bacon and sauté until golden, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add chopped shallot and cook 1 minute. Add pumpkin, chicken broth, rosemary and 3 tbsp Pecorino Romano, stir and add salt and pepper to taste; simmer about 8 - 10 minutes.
Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package instructions for al dente. Drain and add the pasta to the pumpkin sauce and mix well.
Transfer to the baking dish and spread evenly. Top with the remaining shredded Pecorino Romano and mozzarella.
Cover and bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until mozzarella is melted and the edges are lightly browned. Let it cool 5 minutes, then divide into 4 equal portions.
This can be prepared up to a day in advance and stored, tightly covered, in the refrigerator. Let sit at room temperature for 30 minutes before baking.
Makes 4 servings.