recipe-share: macaroni and cheese with butternut squash
I bought another butternut squash from the farmer's market. It's winter; 'tis the season.
I'm continually amazed at all the things that this vegetable is good for. Last night, I discovered it has good chemistry with cheese. I made Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash from Martha Stewart. It's like your classic baked macaroni and cheese, but with some soul. Here's how it went down.
We start with a pound of squash. They are notorious for being nearly impossible to peel. And you can see why. Awkwardly shaped, even when halved.
I always end up chopping it into pieces and then cutting the hard skin off of it. It may not be the fastest way, but it works.
Next, I combine one and a half cups of skim milk, one cup of chicken stock and the squash into a large saucepan. Boil, then simmer.
When the squash is tender enough, I mash it in the saucepan and it creates this milky puree.
In the meantime, I get two saucepans of pasta going. See, one of my roommates is gluten-intolerant so she has a great brand of brown rice pasta (Tinkyada, I believe) that we use. It says to cook for one minute then let sit in hot water for 20 minutes. Pah! I cooked it like regular pasta and it was fine.
When the respective pastas are done, I transfer them to separate bowls and add the squash mixture along with sharp cheddar cheese, ricotta cheese and some grated parmigiano-reggiano.
When it's all mixed up, I add a thin layer of bread crumbs and more cheese to one set of pasta. The gluten-free dish gets crushed Chex mix (you'd never know it's not bread crumbs; cooks the same). Into the oven at 350 degrees, covered with foil, for 20 mins. Then cooked again uncovered for another 30.
The results are winter splendidness.
It's cheesy. It's a bit sweet and very hearty. I also wager that this is far healthier than traditional baked macaroni and cheese.
Here's the recipe on MarthaStewart.com. It's heavy on the prep and cook time, but I think it's worth it. So, on the next cold winter's night, carve up some butternut squash and bring an old classic back to life.