Food Talk And Fabulous Finds - Butternut Mac & Cheese

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10-27-2008, 12:27 AM
I found this recipe on one of the cooking blogs I read. It seems like it might be fairly reasonably low cal for a side dish - and also a great dish if you need to sneak some veggies into your kids food. :)

I plan to make it this week.

1/2 pound pasta w/ ridges, like penne, cavatappi, etc…
extra virgin olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
3 sprigs fresh thyme, leaves removed & chopped
1/2 small onion, diced
1 tablespoon dijon mustard
2 -3 dashes hot pepper sauce
1 package frozen cooked/pureed butternut squash, or winter squash, defrosted & drained [I'll probably use a fresh one, roasted and pureed]
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 & 1/2 cups lowfat milk
1 cup reduced fat cheddar cheese, grated or cubed (plus more for topping)
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese (plus more for topping)
freshly grated nutmeg
kosher salt and white pepper
2 -3 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs

Step 1: Preheat the oven to 375F. Set a large pot of salted water to boil, and cook the pasta for 4 -5 minutes less than the package directs you to. Drain the pasta and return it to the pot you cooked it in.

Step 2: Meanwhile, in a saute pan, heat the butter and 1 tablespoon of oil. Add the onions and thyme, and cook until onions are soft and fragrant. Add the flour and whisk for 2 minutes, then whisk in the chicken stock. Add the defrosted squash until warmed (whisk until it is smooth, it will look like an orange paste)

Step 3: Whisk in the milk, along with the pepper sauce, mustard, nutmeg, salt & pepper. Allow the sauce to begin to bubble (that’s what will make it thicken!)

Step 4: Add the cheeses to the mixture, and stir until smooth.

Step 5: Pour the cheese mixture over the pasta, and stir to incorporate. If using a tubular pasta, make sure to stir very well so the sauce gets into the holes of the pasta.

Step 6: Transfer to a greased baking dish. Mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining parmesan, and a drizzle of olive oil, and sprinkle over the pasta. Dot the top with the remaining cheddar cheese.

Step 7: Bake for 20 minutes.


10-27-2008, 10:41 AM
Ooh, I think I'm going to have to make this next for dinner! Maybe I'll throw in some chicken chunks and serve with a veggie for a full meal... Thanks for sharing!

10-28-2008, 09:19 PM
Well, I made this for dinner tonight and added about a pound of cubed, cooked chicken. It was really good! I just used a couple of dashes of nutmeg and it definitely added a nice, subtle flavor to the mix.

Apparently this recipe has been making the rounds recently. I saw it on Rachael Ray's 30 Minute Meals on Food Network last night too. She called it Harvest Moon Mac and Cheese, I believe.

10-28-2008, 09:56 PM
Umm... this looks good. I just copied and pasted it into my recipes. Thanks!