Monday, February 16, 2009

...and more squash


Yes, my squash obsession is still going strong. I've been thinking about this recipe since I made the aztec squash soup last week. Repeat after me: butternut squash mac & cheese. It sounds strange. It's amazing.

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Makes about 6 servings

olive oil
1 medium butternut squash
12 oz. macaroni noodles*
1 small onion, chopped
1 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. white pepper
1 Tbsp. flour*
1 cup milk
12 oz. sharp cheddar, grated

Roast the butternut squash: cut in half, seed, rub cut side with olive oil, and place, cut side down in a baking dish. Bake in 400 degree oven for 60-75 minutes, or until soft. Once cool enough to handle, scoop the flesh out into a large bowl. Mash the squash with the backside of a spoon.

Reduce oven temperature to 350 degrees. Cook macaroni on stovetop according to package. Rinse with cool water. Set aside.

Heat 1 Tbsp. olive oil over medium heat. Add onion and cook for about 2 minutes. Add spices and continue to cook, stirring occasionally until the onion is translucent. Add flour and mix well. Stir in milk slowly. Increase heat and continue to stir until sauce begins to boil. Reduce heat and continue stirring, allowing sauce to thicken. Add cheese and continue to stir until cheese is mixed in and fully melted.

Add sauce and noodles to bowl with squash. Mix well. Transfer to a baking dish and bake 30 minutes. This makes a pretty sizable dish. Nate and JR and I ate it last night. Marika and I will be eating the leftovers tonight (a cheesy dish to accompany our cheesy Bachelor viewing).

*I made our mac & cheese gluten free by using rice noodles and brown rice flour. Also we don't generally keep milk in the house, so I used soy milk. It still turned out great. You can also make the recipe vegan by substituting soy milk for the milk and in place of sharp cheddar, use 8 oz. vegan cheddar, 2 oz. vegan jack cheese and 1/2 cup vegan cream cheese.

Let me know what you think!

7 comments:

  1. Oh my gosh...looks so good. Any idea what the nutritional facts look like on something like this?

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  2. Sinful! Seriously. I hope JR doesn't mind when I move in with them!

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  3. Hi Robyn,

    If you're talking calories, splitting the above recipe into 6 servings (which are pretty good sized) works out to about 500 calories per serving. One thing to note: the pasta and the cheese each have about 4x the calories of the butternut squash per quantity (and are less nutrient dense). So you can play with the pasta:cheese:squash ratio to reduce the pasta and cheese relative to the squash and reduce overall calories. Because the butternut squash has such nice flavor, it would still be great (just a little less like traditional mac & cheese).

    I like to pair mine with a big serving of green veggies for a balanced meal!

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  4. I'm thinking of moving back to the Bay Area just to get in on some of this good cooking!

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  5. Made this tonight and it was fabulous! I used shallots in addition to the onion since I had some in the house. Also added some paprika and red pepper flakes to give it a kick. Very yummy!

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  6. Made this tonight for my three boys, and they all had 2 helpings. Thank you!
    What an interesting idea to add squash to mac and cheese, it adds such a great flavour.
    I used a mixture of yolkfee whole wheat and egg noodles and topped it with grated cheese. I didn't add the nutmeg as I was afraid they might not like the taste. They can only take so much change at a time ; )
    Love your recipes.
    mt

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