3 Simple winter pasta dishes

Pasta with roasted red onion, butternut squash, walnuts Pasta with roasted red onion, butternut squash, walnuts and sage. (January 2013) Photo Credit: Marge Perry

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Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition. ...

TIP Buy fresh squash peeled and cubed, but cut it into smaller (1-inch) pieces to ensure a shorter cooking time.

1. PASTA WITH WALNUTS, SAGE AND WINTER SQUASH

1 (4-inch) red onion, cut across in half, then into 1/4-inch wedges

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided

1 1/2 pounds winter squash, cut into 1-inch pieces (5 to 6cups)

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

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8 ounces gemelli pasta (about 2 cups)

1 tablespoon butter

1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage (about 5 large leaves)

1 tablespoon lemon juice

1/4 cup coarsely chopped walnuts

@Newsday

1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat two baking sheet pans with cooking spray.

2. Lay the onion slices out in a single layer on the first baking sheet; brush lightly with about 1/2 tablespoon of the oil.

3. Toss the squash with the remaining oil, 1/4 teaspoon salt and the black pepper. Place in a single layer on the second baking sheet. Roast squash and onions for 10 minutes, then turn them and return to oven, rotating pans. Roast until the squash is fork tender and the onions are golden, another 10 minutes.

4. While the vegetables roast, cook the pasta in a large pot of lightly salted boiling water until al dente. Drain.

5. Melt butter in now-empty pasta pot; stir in the sage and cook until butter is golden brown, about 1 minute. Remove from heat and stir in the lemon juice, remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and walnuts. Add drained pasta and toss thoroughly. Gently stir in the squash and onions.

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Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 440 calories, 12 g protein, 72 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 14 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 329 mg sodium

 

2. PAPPARDELLE WITH MUSHROOMS

8 ounces pappardelle pasta

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1 tablespoon butter

1/2 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

8 ounces mixed exotic mushrooms, sliced

1/2 teaspoon thyme

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

2 tablespoons sherry

1/3 cup heavy cream

1/4 cup grated Parmesan

2 tablespoon chopped parsley

1. Cook the pasta in lightly salted boiling water according to package directions. Drain.

2. Meanwhile, melt butter in large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring, 3 to 4 minutes, until somewhat softened. Add mushrooms, thyme, salt and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, until pan is fairly dry, about 8 minutes. Add sherry and cook until it evaporates, about 2 minutes. Stir in cream, cook 2 minutes until thickened, and remove from heat.

3. Toss the mushroom sauce with the pasta; top each serving with the Parmesan and parsley.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 364 calories, 12 g protein, 50 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 13 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 457 mg sodium

 

3. CREAMY PASTA WITH CHICKEN AND PEAS

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 pound boneless chicken thighs, cut into bite-size pieces

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces medium egg noodles

1 tablespoon butter

1 cup chopped onion

1 (10-ounce) box sliced mushrooms

3 tablespoons flour, divided

1 cup low-sodium chicken broth

2 teaspoons tomato paste

2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce

1 cup frozen peas

3/4 cup light sour cream

1. Heat oil in large, nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add chicken, sprinkle with salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, for 6 to 8 minutes, until chicken is cooked through. Transfer to a plate.

2. Cook noodles in plenty of lightly salted, boiling water until al dente, according to package directions. Drain.

3. While noodles cook, melt butter in skillet; add onions and cook over medium heat 4 to 5 minutes, or until softened. Add mushrooms and sprinkle with about half the flour; stir until flour is no longer visible; repeat with remaining flour.

4. Stir in broth, tomato paste and Worcestershire; increase heat to bring to boil. Stir in peas and cook until peas are tender and sauce is thickened, 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in chicken and cook 2 minutes to heat through. Remove from heat and allow to stand 1 minute. Stir in sour cream and toss with noodles.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 517 calories, 33 g protein, 51 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 20 g fat, 7 g saturated fat, 509 mg sodium

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