Pumpkin-Sage Baked Ziti
- 3 T + 2 tsp olive oil, divided
- 2 large shallots, diced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose-flour
- 2 1/2 cups nonfat or reduced fat milk
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1/4 cup parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup sage, thinly sliced
- pinch of nutmeg
- salt and pepper to taste
- 8 ounces whole wheat penne, cooked al dente
- 3/4 cup shredded sharp white cheddar cheese
Adapted from ohmyveggies.com
Preheat oven to 350 degrees and spray a casserole dish with an oil mister or cooking spray.
Heat 3 T oil in a large skillet over med. heat. Add shallots and cook, stirring often, until just beginning to brown (about 7 min). Sprinkle flour into the skillet and give it a good stir. Cook, continuing to stir often, until golden brown (about 3 min). Grab a whisk and slowly pour the milk into the skillet, whisking it into the flour mixture. Once the milk is incorporated and sauce is smooth, add the pumpkin to the skillet and whisk that in. Let the sauce cook on medium heat until it's thickened (about 7 min), continuing to whisk often.
Remove the sauce from the heat and stir in the parmesan cheese, 1/4 cup of the sage leaves and a pinch of nutmeg. Season to taste with salt and pepper, then fold in the penne. Transfer to the prepared baking dish and top with the shredded cheese. Cover the baking dish with foil and place it in the oven. Bake for 10 minutes covered, then uncover and cook for 10 minutes more.
While the casserole is baking, make the crispy sage topping. Heat the remaining 2 tsps of olive oil in a small skillet over med. heat. Add the remaining sage to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until crispy, about 3 minutes. Keep a close eye on the sage because it will go from crispy to burnt really quickly! When the sage is done, transfer to paper towel to soak up some of the excess oil. Sprinkle the crispy sage onto the baked ziti before serving.