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Posts Tagged ‘Mac ‘n’ Cheese’

Mac and Cheese with Butternut Squash – I was skeptical at first too, but this one is so yummy!  I’ve tried a few other versions in the past, but the squash was too overwhelming.  I think the key is to roast the butternut squash as opposed to boiling it or using it frozen.  Roasting the squash with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper really brings out the sweetness.  Did you know all winter squashes are an excellent source of Vitamin A, but butternut squash is much higher than either acorn or spaghetti squash?  I guess it’s because of it’s deep orange color. 

Ingredients:

  • 1 medium butternut squash cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 cup chicken stock 
  • 1 1/2 cups skim milk
  • Dash of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Dash of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound (box) elbow macaroni
  • 1/2 cup finely grated sharp cheddar cheese (If you can, it’s better freshly grated)
  • 1/2 cup monterray jack/ cheddar cheese (this I use store bought)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 6 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • 4 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Olive-oil cooking spray
  •  

    Directions:

    1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Roast butternut squash with olive oil, salt, and pepper until fork tender – about 15-20 minutes.  Add cooked squash to large bowl along with chicken stock and milk.  Mash everything together and stir nutmeg, cayenne, and salt, and season with black pepper.
    2. Cook macaroni according to box – about 8 minutes so it’s al dente.  Add to squash mixture.  Stir in cheddar, monterray jack, ricotta, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
    3. This usually fills two 8-inch-square baking dishes for me.  Spray baking dishes with cooking spray and transfer noodle mixture to dish. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, the remaining Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle evenly over noodle mixture.
    4. Cover with aluminum foil, and bake at 375 for 20 minutes (You’ll have to lower oven temp since we roasted at 400). Remove foil, and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, 30 to 40 minutes more. Serve immediately.

    Enjoy! 

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