Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Happy Wednesday! How is everyone doing at keeping off those holiday pounds? It’s only the 5th day of December and I think I’ve gained about 5… a pound a day… and I’ve loved every minute of it!

Holy smoked cheese am I excited to share this discovery with you! A few days ago I bought a butternut squash – not knowing what I was going to make with it. I mostly bought it ‘cuz it looked pretty, but pretty doesn’t put food on the table! So, I let my squash sit for a few days while I mulled it over. Thanks to some Facebook, Twitter and internet trolling, I came across several Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese recipes including this one from A Cozy Kitchen!

I have to say, this dish honored the beauty of the squash in such an amazing visual and sensual way. So velvety and creamy – I couldn’t tell where the squash ended and the cheese began. And I felt good knowing there were some healthy vitamins hidden in an otherwise carb-loaded dish. There’s also so much you can do with the dish: I’m thinking of adding curry next time for a little kick…or bacon if you’re in to that. You could also switch up the cheese with a smoky gruyere to give it a more sexy flavor.

Here’s a step-by-step… and don’t forget to visit A Cozy Kitchen! for more ideas!
INGREDIENTS:
(Adapted From A Cozy Kitchen! and Martha Stewart)
1 small butternut squash cut into 1 inch pieces and roasted
1 pound penne (or other noodles)
1 cup chicken stock
1 1/2 cups milk
1/2 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1 1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
1 1/2 cup of sharp grated cheddar cheese (or smoked cheddar)
4 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese


1. Start by roasting your butternut squash. I peeled it and cut it into 1 inch chunks, seasoned them with salt, pepper and a drizzle of olive oil, then baked them at 375 for about 30-40 minutes.

2. Boil your penne or other noodies.
In a sauce pan, bring roasted squash, chicken stock, and milk to a boil. Reduce to simmer for 5-7 minutes.
Stir in cayenne pepper, nutmeg, paprika, salt and black pepper. Your squash should begin to melt into the sauce, blend sauce with a hand blender until it’s smooth.
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

3. Drain noodles and stir in Squash mixture and cheeses.

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