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Butternut squash macaroni and cheese

November 18, 2010

Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

Okay.  Sounds weird, right?   I’m definitely not against the idea of sneaking squash into my mac and cheese, but Martha just didn’t do it well enough to suit me.  First of all, it wasn’t nearly cheesy enough.  Second, the dish wasn’t very creamy.  And third, it would have really benefited from some onion or garlic.  What it comes down to is that this idea has potential, but it really needs some tweaking.  I think I’ll try it again with some adjustments and see if I can’t trick my family into liking it.  No one cared for it at all the night I made it, and it’s the first time in recorded history that we actually threw away leftover mac and cheese.  That’s saying something around here, let me tell ya.  Even after all my complaints, I’m still willing to give it another try, but I’ll do it my way next time, not Martha’s.

{***Okay,  I was determined to make this work, so I tried it again MY way.  I used my kiddos’ favorite mac and cheese recipe as my springboard, and this time, it worked out much better.  I added a box of frozen pureed squash to the roux when I added the milk.  And by increasing the amounts of salt, pepper, and minced onions a little, and adding a bit more milk and cheese, I got the results I was looking for.  Now, the color of the butternut squash macaroni and cheese was definitely kind of day-glo orange, but it was cheesy and creamy and we all had full bellies when we left the table.  Success!***}

{one year ago:  chocolate (tofu) pudding}

Recipe:  Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

(from Martha Stewart)

1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and diced into 1″ cubes

1 c. chicken broth

1 1/2 c. nonfat milk

pinch of nutmeg

pinch of cayenne pepper

3/4 tsp. kosher salt

fresh black pepper

1 lb. elbow macaroni

1 c. extra sharp cheddar cheese, grated

1/2 c. ricotta cheese

4 Tbsp. Parmesan cheese, divided

2 Tbsp. breadcrumbs

1 tsp. olive oil

cooking spray

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.

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.

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.

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.

13 Comments leave one →
  1. November 18, 2010 5:09 pm

    I’ve never had this, but I’ve seen a bunch of recipes for it. I’d love to try it since I love bn squash. In fact, I’m doing a week of bn squash on my blog right now!

  2. November 19, 2010 6:36 am

    I love the idea of a butternut macaroni and cheese. – Yum.
    :-) Mandy

  3. November 19, 2010 8:32 am

    I hate it when famous people’s recipes don’t turn out. I wonder if she tasted it first before putting it out there? Better luck next time!

  4. November 19, 2010 12:47 pm

    I make a similar mac & cheese, but I turn the pureed squash into a faux alfredo using 1 cup of grated parmesan and 1.5 cups of half & half. It’s one of my favorite dishes!

  5. November 19, 2010 2:16 pm

    Oh, that is just too bad. I have Jessica Seinfeld’s first cook book, and I think she has a recipe like this in there. Maybe you could check it out.

  6. November 20, 2010 2:10 am

    It sounds look but doesn’t look creamy at all. I’d love to see what you come up with!

  7. November 20, 2010 9:54 pm

    I’m glad you are going to give it another try! With the butternut squash, cheese, noodles and breadcrumbs, this has great potential. And it sure looks yummy! :)

  8. November 21, 2010 12:46 am

    Okay, guess I’m passing on this one until you tweak it and re-post.

  9. November 21, 2010 1:51 am

    this doesn’t sound weird at all–it sounds delicious, and i think the squash must add to the color quite nicely!

  10. November 22, 2010 4:56 pm

    I agree with Grace, it sounds fantastic. In fact, I was eying this recipe myself a while ago.

  11. November 23, 2010 5:00 pm

    Yum, looks and sounds delicious.:) SMILES!!

  12. December 4, 2010 10:30 am

    yes. please! If you come up with the revised version I would LOVE to know. My family will adore me for it.


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