Another veg-based macaroni and cheese recipe! This time, I blended roast butternut squash into the cheese mixture. The result is decidedly squashy (it would be hard to say the butternut was a "secret" ingredient) and yet pleasantly reminiscent of mac and cheese.
To break up the cooking-time, I roasted my butternut squash a few days beforehand, and kept it in the refrigerator until I had time to assemble the rest of the dish.
2 1/2 pounds butternut squash (approx. 4 cups cooked)
8 oz pasta
1 cup nonfat milk
1 cup grated cheddar
1/4 cup grated parmesan, plus one tablespoon reserved
15 oz part-skim ricotta
1/4 cup onion, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup panko
canola oil and/or butter
Roasting the squash (can be done in advance):
Preheat oven to 400 F.
Wash the butternut squash, halve and remove seeds.
Place the squash halves face up in a baking dish that has been lightly brushed with canola oil.
Lightly brush the top of each squash with canola oil.
Bake 45 minutes, or until the a knife cuts cleanly through the center of the squash.
If roasting the squash ahead of time, refrigerate until needed.
The day of:
Preheat the oven to 375 F.
Lightly grease a 13 by 9 inch baking dish with butter or canola oil.
Cook the noodles per the package instructions. Drain.
Remove the skin from the cooled butternut squash.
In a medium bowl, mash the butternut squash, adding milk until creamy and smooth. Set aside.
In a large bowl, combine the cheddar, ricotta and 1/4 cup parmesan.
Add the garlic, onion, salt, a dash of nutmeg and black pepper to taste to the cheese mixture.
Stir the mashed butternut squash into the cheese mixture.
Add the drained noodles to the butternut squash/cheese mixture.
Pour into the greased baking dish, and top with the reserved 1 tablespoon of parmesan and the panko.
Bake for 45 minutes, until the topping is golden-brown.