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Author Notes: I love mac 'n cheese, but I was in a weird space where I had outgrown the boxed stuff and hadn't quite found an oven recipe I liked. I figured there must be a way to incorporate an easy boil-and-mix technique with fewer chemicals than the prepackaged mac 'n cheese, so I fooled around with butternut squash and different cheeses until I discovered that one combination led to a very similar taste, smell and texture. Butternut squash is great for fall, and this refrigerates and packs very nicely as a lunch. —krannysue
- 0.5 pounds small pasta, such as gemelli or cavatappi
- 0.75 pounds butternut squash, cubed
- 6 ounces goat cheese (chevre)
- 3 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
- red pepper flakes
- salt and pepper
- Boil the squash for 10-15 minutes in water seasoned well with salt, red pepper flakes and thyme (dried or fresh).
- Remove the squash when it comes apart easily with the back of a spoon, saving the water. Place the cooked squash in a food processor with both cheeses.
- Examine the remaining water and add enough to cook your half-pound of pasta. Season accordingly with salt and add pasta to boiling water.
- While the pasta is cooking, puree the squash and cheeses, seasoning to taste.
- When the pasta is not quite al dente (as it will continue cooking with the cheese sauce), drain and return to the pot.
- Add the cheese sauce and stir.
- This recipe was entered in the contest for Your Best Brown Bag Lunch