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Butternut squash macaroni and cheese

Posted by Jeanne on October 29, 2009

This is not what you would call a “light” recipe.  But seriously, make it.  It’s so, so good – and right now there are many varieties of squash available in stores.  Squash is cheap too.

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese – based on this recipe.

Squash

1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, chopped into 1 inch cubes

2 tablespoons melted butter

a pinch each of salt, pepper and nutmeg

Mac & Cheese

1 pound elbow macaroni

2 TB butter

1/4 cup flour

3 cups milk

1 tablespoon mustard

a pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

a pinch of cayenne pepper

.5 pound shredded sharp cheddar (about 2 cups)

Topping

1 cup bread crumbs (use panko if you have it)

Instructions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Toss the cubed squash in the melted butter, season with salt, pepper and nutmeg. Roast for 35-45 minutes until very tender.

Bring a large pot of water to boil. Salt generously. Boil pasta to very al dente – about 5 minutes. Drain pasta and set aside.

Melt 2 TB butter and slowly stir in flour to form a paste.  Cook about one minute, stirring constantly.  Over very low heat, SLOWLY whisk in 2 cups of milk. Raise heat to medium low heat until sauce fully blends and thickens. SLOWLY whisk in additional cup of milk, wait for sauce to thicken again. Lower heat to lowest setting. Add mustard, salt, pepper, nutmeg, and cayenne pepper. Stir in 1.5 cups of cheese (set aside .5 cup for the topping). Taste sauce, adjust seasonings if needed.

Combine pasta, squash and cheese sauce in a large bowl, toss to coat evenly. Transfer mixture to an oven-safe dish.

Blend remaining cheese with breadcrumbs to form topping. Sprinkle mixture over the macaroni.

Bake at 400F for 20 to 30 minutes, until the topping is nice and brown and the cheese sauce is bubbling. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

Notes:  Make sure to add the liquid ingredients very slowly to the roux and give it time to thicken.

 

Good stuff.  Very, very good. Boring and terrible pictures though – you’ll have to trust me on this one.  Or make it yourself!

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