The combination of mushrooms and butternut squash is well suited for fall, but you can substitute other roasted vegetables in this dish, according to the season. The white sauce is a lower calorie and lower fat version of the classic besciamella.Excerpted from HEALTHY PASTA by Joseph and Tanya Bastianich. Copyright (c) 2014 by Joseph and Tanya Bastianich. Excerpted by permission of Knopf, a division of Random House LLC. All rights reserved. No part of this excerpt may be reproduced or reprinted without permission in writing from the publisher.

Ingredients

  • 1 Pound mixed mushrooms (such as button, cremini, shiitake, oyster, chanterelle, or porcini), thickly sliced (about 6 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 Small butternut squash, peeled and cut into ½-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 Tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
  • 2 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups 1% low-fat milk
  • 1 Cup low-sodium chicken broth
  • 1 Fresh bay leaf
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1 Pound rigatoni
  • 1 Cup shredded low-moisture part-skim mozzarella
  • ¼ Cup freshly grated Grana Padano

Preparation

Step 1:

Preheat the oven to 450˚F with two sheet pans on the top and bottom racks.

Step 2:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil for pasta. In a large bowl, toss the mushrooms with ½ tablespoon of the olive oil and season with salt. Spread on one of the preheated pans. Repeat with the squash and the remaining olive oil and season with salt and the thyme. Spread on the second sheet pan and roast both until browned and tender, stirring and switching the pans from top to bottom halfway through the cooking time, about 20 minutes in all.

Step 3:

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan over medium heat, melt the butter. When the butter is melted, whisk in the flour to make a smooth paste. Let cook for 2 minutes to remove the raw flour smell, then whisk in the milk and chicken broth. Add the bay leaf and nutmeg and season with salt and red pepper flakes. Simmer, stirring occasionally, until thickened, about 10 minutes. Discard the bay leaf.

Step 4:

Add the rigatoni to the boiling water. When the pasta is very al dente, several minutes shy of the package cooking time, drain and rinse. In a small bowl, toss the mozzarella and Grana Padano together. In a large bowl, combine the pasta, white sauce, and roasted vegetables and season with salt. Toss to coat the pasta with the sauce.

Step 5:

Pour into a 13 by 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish. Sprinkle with the grated cheese mixture. Bake until the sauce is bubbly on the edges and the top is browned, 15 to 17 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.