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Author Notes: 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
- 1 butternut squash (or two small acorn) (or two large sweet potatoes), peeled, seeded, and cubed
- 1 cup vegetable broth (or parmesan broth or water)
- 1.5 cups milk (whatever type you have on hand, i usually use 2%)
- pinch nutmeg
- pinch cayenne pepper (or ancho chili powder)
- 3/4 teaspoon salt
- pinch freshly ground black pepper
- 1 pound short pasta (macaroni, rigatoni, any of the -onis)
- 1 cup grated sharp cheddar (or monteray/pepper jack) cheese
- 1.5 cups ricotta (or burrata, if you're feeling fancy!)
- 1/4 cup grated parmesan (could go up to 1/2 cup, but adjust salt accordingly)
- 1/4 cup breadcrumbs
- preheat over to 375.
- 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.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Savory (Winter) Squash Recipe