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Fall Pasta Dishes With a Healthy Twist

CHICAGO (CBS)-- "In Good Taste" blogger Maris Callahan joined CBS 2's Suzanne Le Mignot to talk about healthy and hearty pasta dishes that will keep your diet in line.

Callahan says it's all about "swaps." This means adding vegetables or lighter ingredients, while using smaller amounts of higher calorie ingredients in order to maintain the dish's taste.

Callahan's fall dishes include capellini with ginger vegetables, creamy pumpkin penne and orecchiette with butternut squash.

Her dishes include whole wheat pasta.

"The whole wheat pastas are great because they have a little more fiber, a little bit more nutrients and they taste great," she said.

Callahan says it is still acceptable to use higher fat, more indulgent ingredients, just in small amounts. She also recommends using sharper cheeses to avoid needing large amounts for flavor.

The blogger said now with different dietary needs, pastas made from different ingredients, like chickpeas pasta, help with options.

"You can still indulge in your favorite dishes," Callahan said.


Callahan's Healthy Fall Recipes:

Capellini with Gingery Vegetables:

8 ounces capellini pasta
1 tablespoon canola oil
2 tablespoons minced ginger
1 garlic clove, minced
4 cups small broccoli florets
1 red bell pepper, chopped
1 onion, thinly sliced
½ cup sake (optional)
2 cups thawed frozen shelled edamame
3 scallions, thinly sliced on diagonal
1 tablespoons soy sauce
2 tablespoons chopped unsalted peanuts

Cook capellini according to package directions.

Heat a large wok over medium-high heat. Add oil and swirl to coat the bottom of pan. Add ginger and garlic and cook until fragrant, about one minute. Add broccoli, bell pepper, onion and stir. Cook until vegetables begin to soften, about two or three minutes.

Add sake and cook until evaporated. Stir in hoisin sauce and cook another two minutes. Add edamame, scallions, soy sauce and cook until the mixture is completely heated through.

Remove from heat and add pasta. Top with peanuts and serve hot.

Creamy Pumpkin Penne:

1-12 oz box whole wheat penne or Fusilli
1 tablespoons olive oil
1½ cups low sodium chicken broth
½ cup fat-free evaporated milk
15-ounce can pumpkin
½ small white onion, chopped (or 1 tsp onion powder)
½ teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
¼ teaspoon salt
¼ teaspoon pepper
Fresh parsley to garnish
1½ ounces grated Parmesan cheese
2 large handfuls fresh baby spinach

Cook pasta according to package directions, adding spinach during the last two minutes of cooking. When it starts to wilt, drain, return to pot, cover to keep warm.

Meanwhile, heat oil on medium. Whisk in broth, evaporated milk, pumpkin, and spices. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, simmer, uncovered for 4-5 minutes, occasionally stirring.

Toss pasta with the sauce and cheese, spoon into bowls and top with parsley (if desired).

Butternut Squash & Kale Orecchiette:

3 cups cubed butternut squash
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
Salt and pepper, for seasoning
1 pinch cayenne pepper
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
1 red onion, sliced thinly
½ pound orecchiette
1 or 2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 cups chicken broth, divided
1 bunch kale, middle stems removed and leaves chopped
½ cup white wine
½ cup heavy cream
1 ounce goat cheese
1 tablespoon chopped sage
Parmesan cheese, to serve

Cook pasta according to directions on package and set aside. Preheat oven to 425° F. Toss butternut squash with 1 tablespoon olive oil, salt, pepper, a pinch of cayenne pepper, and nutmeg. Roast until butternut squash pieces are tender, about 30 minutes. Set aside.

Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan, heat 1 tablespoon olive oil over low to medium heat. Add red onions and cook about 30 minutes. until caramelized, about 30 minutes. Set aside.

In another pan over medium-high heat, heat another tablespoon of olive oil. Add garlic and cook for one minute. Add 1/2 cup of the chicken broth and cook until broth is almost completely evaporated. Add butternut squash and toss.

Add kale to butternut squash mixture and stir until kale has softened. Add red onions, white wine and chicken broth. Reduce, about 10 minutes.
Remove from heat and add the heavy cream. Add pasta and toss to combine. Top with goat cheese (optional), sage, and Parmesan cheese .Serve immediately.

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