Squash Mac’n’Cheese

I got this recipe from my friend Krista in SF. It’s a real winner because it tricks you into thinking that the squash is cheese. I promise you, if you try this you will love it. It does not taste like squash and trust me I would know because I hate squash! This one is a crowd pleaser and if you don’t tell them there is squash in it, they will never know. Here’s the recipe:

1 lb. elbow macaroni
20 oz. pureed butternut squash (I’m sure other varieties would work)
2 cups milk
4 oz extra sharp grated cheddar
2 oz monterey jack cheese shredded
1/2 c. part skim ricotta cheese
1 t. salt
1 tsp. powdered mustard
1/8 teaspoon cayenne (I think I’ll kick this up a notch next time)
2 T grated parm
2 T bread crumbs
1 t. olive oil

Preheat oven to 375 degrees and coat a 9×13″ pan with cooking spray.

Cook the pasta for about 5 to 8 minutes and drain. It should be a bit under cooked.

Meanwhile saute the squash with the milk and cook over low heat until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheeses, salt, mustard and cayenne. Pour over the pasta and stir to combine. Transfer to the baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs, parmesan and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the mac and cheese. Bake for 20 min. then broil for 3 until the top is brown and crispy.

I changed the recipe some because I didn’t have the right ingredients on hand. I used angel hair instead of macaroni, which I thought made it a really good texture. I had pureed pumpkin in the freezer, but god knows we will never have a shortage of squash, probably any kind would do. I also substituted yogurt for the ricotta and doubled the cayenne pepper. You could use whatever cheese you like. I should have snapped a photo but trust me, it looks good too.

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