Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash

Inspiration:
Arugulove's adaptation of the Martha Stewart recipe
and
a pantry full of odds and ends


Ingredients:
  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound) , peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat
  • 1 1/2 cups nonfat milk
  • Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper
  • 3/4 teaspoon coarse salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 4 tablespoons Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 ounce)
  • 2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • Olive-oil cooking spray
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

Instructions:
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine squash, stock, and milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Mash contents of saucepan; stir in nutmeg, cayenne, and salt, and season with black pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles; cook until al dente according to package instructions, about 8 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl; stir in squash mixture, cheddar, ricotta, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
  3. Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking dish (4 inches deep) with cooking spray. Transfer noodle mixture to dish. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle evenly over noodle mixture.
  4. Cover with foil, and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, 30 to 40 minutes more. Serve immediately.

My Notes:
Arugulove suggested this recipe on her comment on my last macaroni and cheese attempt. I had almost all the ingredients... a pound of pasta (although not all the same shape), an acorn squash from the farmers' market (close enough to butternut?), panko (better than breadcrumbs?), and cottage cheese to sub for ricotta. This recipe was a great way to use up some odds and ends, and it was tasty, too!

It was a little bit of work to make, but that's fine. I have a TV in my kitchen so I can watch college football and cook at the same time. The modern woman multitasker. :)

I would say I somewhat prefer my last macaroni and cheese attempt because you don't have to cook the noodles first. It also had a cheesier flavor. However, I promise you that you CANNOT taste the squash in this recipe!


Liz's Rating: 8/10
Tim's Rating: 9/10

7 comments:

Cate said...

I've seen variations of this on a few blogs lately and I'm always a little skeptical...but your GORGEOUS photo makes me want to whip up a batch right now!

Katie said...

I LOVE this lighter version. It looks so great!!

HaveShoesWillTravel said...

I wonder if I could make this and my husband not notice it has healthy things in it.

arugulove said...

I'm glad you made it and it turned out well!

Queen B. said...

This looks awesome !!!

Elizabeth said...

Hmm, this might be a good way to get my husband to eat some of the veggies he thinks he doesn't like. Looks delicious and that picture is gorgeous!

Kathleen said...

I had tried carrot mac & cheese once and it was OK. The butternut squash was a much better idea! I will definitely make this again. Thanks for the recipe!

http://chipsandcottagecheese.blogspot.com/2009/11/comfort-food-butternut-squash-mac-and.html