Winter Squash: Recipes and Tips (cont.)

Butternut Cannelloni With Sage/Brown Butter Sauce

If you can't find sheets of fresh pasta, you can use lasagna noodles, cooked until al dente and well-drained.

3 1/2 tablespoons whipped butter, divided use
3 cups cubed, partially thawed frozen butternut squash (available in the frozen section at Whole Foods), or fresh butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 3/4-inch cubes
3/4 cup diced fennel bulb (also called anise), 1/4-inch dices
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon pepper
3 tablespoons chopped shallot
1/4 cup water
6 fresh pasta rectangles (about 6 inches by 4 inches), available at Whole Foods and other specialty markets
Canola cooking spray
6 fresh sage leaves, cut widthwise into thin strips
2 tablespoons minced shallot
1 teaspoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley
Salt and pepper to taste (optional)

  • Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Heat 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter over medium-high heat in a large, nonstick skillet until foam subsides. Add squash, fennel, salt and pepper. Saute, stirring occasionally, until golden (about 4 minutes). Lower heat to a simmer, then stir in shallot and water, cover skillet, and simmer until the vegetables are tender (about 8 minutes). Turn off heat, remove cover and let the mixture cool.
  • While vegetables are cooling, start 2-3 inches of water boiling in a large saucepan. Add sheets of pasta and gently boil until al dente (about 2-3 minutes). Gently transfer the pasta sheets to a bowl of ice and cold water to cool. Drain well and pat dry on paper towels.
  • Add cooled butternut squash mixture to food processor and pulse to blend. (If you don't have a food processor, just mash the mixture until relatively smooth.) Coat a 9 x9-inch baking dish with canola or olive oil cooking spray. Set one sheet of pasta on a plate coated with canola or olive oil cooking spray. Spread 1/4 cup of the filling along the short end of the rectangle and roll up to create a cannelloni. Place it seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets and filling. Coat the top of the cannelloni with canola or olive oil cooking spray.
  • Bake until cannelloni is hot and the pasta is starting to lightly brown (about 12 minutes). While cannelloni is baking, heat 3 tablespoons whipped butter over medium-high heat in small, nonstick saucepan and stir until foam subsides. Add sage and 2 tablespoons shallot and saute until sage is crisp, about 2 minutes. Turn off heat. Stir in lemon juice, fresh parsley, and salt and pepper if desired.
  • To serve as a first course, place one cannelloni on a small plate and drizzle one-sixth of the brown butter and sage mixture down the center of the cannelloni.

Yield: 6 appetizer servings (or 3 entree servings)

Per appetizer serving: 127 calories, 3 g protein, 20 g carbohydrate, 4.8 g fat, 2.8 g saturated fat, 21 mg cholesterol, 4 g fiber, 147 mg sodium (not including salt and pepper to taste). Calories from fat: 33%.

Recipes provided by Elaine Magee; © 2007 Elaine Magee

Elaine Magee, MPH, RD, is the "Recipe Doctor" for the WebD Weight Loss Clinic and the author of numerous books on nutrition and health. Her opinions and conclusions are her own.

Published October 17, 2007.


SOURCES: Melissa's Great Book of Produce, John Wiley & Sons, 2006, by Cathy Thomas. ESHA Research, Food Processor II nutritional analysis program.

©2007 WebMD Inc. All rights reserved.