Friday, January 20, 2012

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

After a previous try at a cheesy-butternut squashy dish, I decided to see how well butternut squash would do in my regular macaroni & cheese recipe.  In 2009 I tried out pumpkin mac & cheese, with very tasty results.  This experiment yielded pretty good reviews, and the Mr. and I have had this dish several times since I first tried it out this summer.  I used jumbo macaroni in the picture above, but any shape pasta would work fine!

Butternut Mac & Cheese (Yield: 4-6 servings)

8 oz. macaroni or other small pasta
2 Tbl. butter
2 Tbl. flour
2 cups milk
1/2 of a butternut squash, cooked and pureed
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese, grated
1/8 - 1/4 tsp. cayenne pepper, to taste
salt, if needed

Boil macaroni in salted water according to package directions.  While macaroni cooks, heat 2 Tablespoons butter in a medium saucepan until melted.  Add flour and stir, cooking until mixture is combined and thickened.  Continue cooking for another minute to cook out the raw flour taste.  Gradually add milk to pan, whisking as you add.  Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until sauce thickens.  Add butternut squash puree and stir to combine.  Stir in cheese until melted.  Add cayenne pepper and adjust for salt if needed (depending on how salty the cheese is).  Stir in drained macaroni until evenly coated.  Serve.


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