butternut (or acorn) squash mac & cheese

By rachel5453
October 2, 2016
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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

Serves: 4-6

  • 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
  1. preheat over to 375.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. grease inside of a baking dish (9 inch with 4 inches deep works well) and transfer pasta mixture. top with breadcrumbs and remaining parmesan.
  5. bake uncovered for 20 minutes until crispy on top.

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