Wednesday, December 26, 2012

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

I'm experiencing a case of the post-Christmas blues. You know that feeling, the day is over, decorations are still up but you know they have to come down soon, no more countdown emails in your inbox. Thankfully I'm still with my family or I'd really be depressed.

This is that time when comfort food is needed. Comfort food with a twist. It's the goodness of mac and cheese, creamy, warm, filling but with an added bonus. A little bit of the sweet healthy goodness that is butternut squash.

And the breadcrumbs really add an extra crunch to the top. I think you'll really like this. My one recommendation with this is to make sure you have your ingredients prepped (i.e. peel, de-seed and chop your butternut squash) before starting. It just makes the actual cooking it part much smoother. 

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

  • 3 cups uncooked pasta shells
  • 4 cups 1/2 inch cubed butternut squash (uncooked)
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp pepper
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 3/4 chicken stock (or vegetable)
  • 1 and 1/4 cup skim milk
  • 6 oz grated fontina cheese 
  • 2 oz grated parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp brown butter
  • 2 tbsp breadcrumbs
To Make:

1) Bring a pot of water to boil and cook pasta shells until al dente. Preheat oven to 375.

2) While the water is boiling, heat olive oil in an oven proof skillet or pan. I used my dutch oven because it's what I had. Once pan is hot add the butternut squash, salt, pepper and nutmeg. Next, add the chicken stock and cover. Cook for 15-20 minutes until squash is fork-tender. 

3) Mash the butternut squash using fork, or mixer, or potato masher until smooth. Stir in the milk, 4 oz of the fontina cheese and the parmesan cheese until melted and well-combined. Finally add the brown butter.

4) Stir in the shells until mixed in. Top with bread crumbs and extra cheese. Bake in oven for 15 minutes, turn on broiler for the last few minutes until bread crumbs are browned and mixture is bubbly. Let sit for a few minutes then spoon into bowls. Enjoy!

1 comment:

Marc and Anneliese said...

No need to be blue...celebrate epiphany on jan 6th! Here in spain it's a bigger deal than christmas. :)