Thursday, March 28, 2013

Butternut Squash Mac 'n Cheese

A new twist on an old favorite.  And what a twist!  Geof said he never even would have questioned that there was anything different about the baked dish I served up the other night.  He even knew butternut squash was the main ingredient and still couldn't tell.


I snagged this little gem from HERE one night whilst Googling creative ways to use up the butternut squash taking up residence on our counter.  I have to say, even I would have been fooled by this one, and I'm the cook!

It is unbelievably creamy and delicious.  Holy cow, it's good, and pretty easy.

Note: I had two cans of organic butternut squash in the pantry that I got at Whole Foods this winter (I know, weird, canned butternut squash?  Hello!).  Turns out that was beaucoup convenient (and just as healthy!) I still have that squash sitting on the counter.  Looks like I'll need to find another recipe to use it for.  Oh darn :)


3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 [1-pound] squash)
1 1/4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups milk
2 garlic cloves, peeled (I used 1 tsp. garlic powder)
2 tablespoons plain fat-free Greek yogurt
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1 pound uncooked cavatappi
1 teaspoon olive oil
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley


1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.

3. Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano, and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined.

4. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13x9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.

5. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture.

6. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.


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