Being an Italian girl, I LOVE pasta. I’m always trying to find ways to up the fiber and nutrients, and for this macaroni and cheese - I did! This dish has all the creaminess of the regular version, but with a squash base and a shockingly small amount of cheese. —sweetrosebakes
mashed acorn or butternut squash (roast your own or buy some in the prepared section of your supermarket)
fresh Kale chopped
mushrooms (I used crimini and shitake, but use what ever you like)
Heat ½ tablespoon of the olive oil in a large skillet. Add ½ of the garlic and the crushed red pepper flakes. Add chopped kale and a sprinkle of salt. As they start to wilt, add a splash of your stock to braise for a few minutes until tender. Remove from the pan and set aside. Pour any extra liquid into the stock. Add the remaining ½ TBL. Olive oil to the pan and heat until warm, add mushrooms. Season with salt and pepper and sauté until they are tender, and all of the liquid is evaporated. Remove from the pan and set aside.
Add 1/2 tablespoon of butter to the empty skillet and melt. Add the breadcrumbs or panko and toss to coat, cook until toasted. Remove from heat, add parsley and 1 TBL of the grated Parmesan or Romano and combine, season with salt and pepper to taste.
Cook the macaroni according to package directions, but drain when they are a still a bit firm. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 350 degrees
In the same saucepan you cooked the pasta in, melt the remaining tablespoon of butter on medium heat. Add the flour and whisk on medium heat until the flour takes on a light golden color. Slowly whisk in the stock and milk. Add turmeric, paprika, thyme and cayenne. Bring the sauce to a gentle boil until thickened. Whisk in the squash, and both cheeses until the cheese is melted. Taste for seasoning and add salt and pepper if needed. Stir in the macaroni, kale, and mushrooms. Pour into a glass 2 quart (8X11) baking dish. Sprinkle with bread topping. Bake for 20 minutes, until hot and bubbly ☺