Friday, December 12, 2014

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese

My friend Elizabeth has been harassing me (love you Beth!) about my butternut squash mac n cheese that I made her and her kids last year. Unfortunately it was one of the recipes I had thrown together and not paid attention to. So today I decided to pay attention while remaking this dish. It's an easy dish and packs in the vegetables and the kids love it! 

Butternut Squash Mac n Cheese 

48 oz butternut squash- peeled and cut small (the grocery store does this for you now- woohoo!!) or 5 1/2 cups pureed 
2 cups sharp cheddar, grated 
3/4 cup parmesan, grated 
1 cup whole milk 
1 tsp Dijon mustard 
1/2 tbs butter (olive oil if you prefer) 

1/2 cup yellow onion, minced
1 garlic clove, minced 
2 cups waterm
1/2 cup pasta water

3 cups elbow noodles, uncooked 
1 tsp salt plus extra for pasta water 
1/8 tsp ground nutmeg 
Few cracks of black pepper 
Canola oil spray 

Large pot of boiling salted water
Measuring cups/spoons 
Chopping knife
Cutting board 
Wooden spoon 
Blender or food processor 
Large pot with lid 
Small sauté pan 
Casserole dish 
Aluminum foil 

Add 2 cups of water, 1/2 tsp salt and the butternut squash to the pot with the lid.
Cover and steam the butternut squash over medium heat for 20 minutes or until the butternut squash is super tender when pierced with a fork. You essentially want butternut squash mush. 48 oz makes more than 5 1/2 cups but I usually set some aside for soup. 

Add pasta to the boiling salted water and cook for 5 minutes. You want the pasta undercooked so it's not soggy later. Drain the pasta, while reserving 1/2 cup of pasta water, and run the pasta under cold water to stop cooking. Set aside for later. 

Melt butter over medium heat in sauté pan. Add the onions and garlic and cook for 5-7 minutes or until onions have softened. Set aside. 

Once the butternut squash is steamed- don't drain. Most of the water should have evaporated after 20-25 minutes. Ladle 5 1/2 cups of the puree into the blender or processor. Add milk, reserved pasta water, ground numeg, 1/2 tsp salt, both cheeses, Dijon mustard, onion and garlic mixture and a few cracks of black pepper. Blend until smooth. 

Spray casserole dish and add the undercooked pasta. Pour the sauce over the pasta and mix well. Cover with aluminum foil and put in the oven. Bake for 25 minutes covered. Remove foil and bake for another 10-15 minutes uncovered. Remove from oven and cool for 15 minutes before serving. Enjoy it!! Xo

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