Roasted Vegetable and Pasta Bake

A hearty vegetarian dish packed with flavour, this roasted vegetable and pasta bake features butternut squash, asparagus and leeks cooked in a garlicky olive oil, along with chunky pasta shapes and a cheese sauce.

Ingredients

1 small butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 5 cm cubes, about 500 g peeled weight
2 red onions, cut into large chunks
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
pepper to taste
2 large leeks, thickly sliced
170 g asparagus spears, cut across in half
300 g rigatoni or penne

Cheese Sauce
2 1⁄3 cups low-fat milk
4 tablespoons cornstarch
70 g 25% reduced-fat mature Cheddar cheese, grated
2 teaspoons whole-grain mustard
pepper to taste

Directions
  1. Preheat the oven to 425ºF (220ºC). Place the squash and onions in a roasting pan and scatter over the garlic. Drizzle with the oil and season with pepper. Toss to coat the vegetables with the oil, then place the pan in the oven and roast for 15 minutes.
  2. Remove the pan from the oven and add the leeks and asparagus. Toss gently to mix with the other vegetables, then return to the oven. Roast for a further 20 minutes or until all the vegetables are tender and beginning to brown.
  3. Meanwhile, cook the pasta in a large saucepan of boiling water for 10–12 minutes, or according to the package instructions.
  4. Meanwhile, to make the sauce, measure 5 tablespoons milk into a jug, add the cornstarch and stir to make a smooth paste. Heat the remaining milk in a saucepan until almost boiling. Stir the hot milk into the cornstarch mixture, then return to the saucepan and heat gently, stirring, until the mixture boils and thickens. Simmer for 2 minutes. Remove the sauce from the heat and add two-thirds of the cheese and the mustard. Season with pepper.
  5. Remove the vegetables from the oven. Drain the pasta well, then pour over the vegetables and stir to combine. Stir in the sauce. Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the top. Return roasted vegetables and pasta to the oven and bake for 10–15 minutes or until golden and bubbling. Serve hot.
preparation time 20 mins
cooking time 50 mins
serves 4
Nutritional information

PER SERVING

494 calories
23 g protein
15 g total fat
4 g saturated fat
19 mg cholesterol
68 g total carbohydrate
18 g sugars
8 g fibre
258 mg sodium

The bright orange flesh of butternut squash is an indicator of its high beta carotene content. Squash is also a good source of vitamin C and a useful source of vitamin E.

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Source: Cook Smart for a Healthy Heart, Reader's Digest Canada

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