an easy (and slightly lighter) version of the best creamy, baked mac & cheese. no bechemel required and endlessly customize-able, depending on what sort of tubers or squash you have on hand. (adapted from Martha Stewart recipe) —rachel5453
butternut squash (or two small acorn) (or two large sweet potatoes), peeled, seeded, and cubed
vegetable broth (or parmesan broth or water)
milk (whatever type you have on hand, i usually use 2%)
cayenne pepper (or ancho chili powder)
freshly ground black pepper
short pasta (macaroni, rigatoni, any of the -onis)
grated sharp cheddar (or monteray/pepper jack) cheese
ricotta (or burrata, if you're feeling fancy!)
grated parmesan (could go up to 1/2 cup, but adjust salt accordingly)
combine squash, broth, and milk in large pot and bring to a boil over medium high (careful not to scald the milk). reduce heat to medium and let simmer until the squash is fork-tender (20-ish minutes). take pot off the heat and mash the squash (or use immersion blender, which makes it much easier) with the nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and pepper.
boil water for pasta and cook pasta until just al dente. drain and put in pot with squash mixture, ricotta, cheddar, and half of the parmesan.
grease inside of a baking dish (9 inch with 4 inches deep works well) and transfer pasta mixture. top with breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan.
bake uncovered for 20 minutes until crispy on top.