For the main course, I will prepare a Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese. This mac and cheese packs a lot of nutritional punch and color from the butternut squash in the cheese sauce. You can substitute the squash for regular pumpkin. I works just the same.
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
Steamed pumpkin or butternut squash – about 1 pound
1 pound whole-wheat elbow macaroni or other tubular pasta
2 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
4 ounces Blend of melting cheeses – Mozzarella, Asiago, Fontina, etc.
1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon Dijon Mustard
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
- Steam the butternut squash or pumpkin in a pot with just an inch of water. Season with salt. When it is cooked, puree in a food procesor.
- Bring a large pot to a boil for the pasta.
- Meanwhile, start building the cheese sauce. In a pot under medium heat, mix together the milk, blend and melt the cheeses, mix the mustard, and pureed butternut squash. Season with salt and pepper. Make sure the pot is big enough to accomodate the sauce and the pasta when it’s cooked.
- Add the macaroni to boling water seasoned with salt and cook until tender but firm.
- Drain cooked pasta and transfer to the pot with the cheese sauce. Mix well together.
- Transfer to a buttered baking dish. Sprinkle with Parmesan cheese and some of the leftover Melting Cheese blend all over the top.
- Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned. Everything is already cooked, you’re just heating everything together and browining the cheese on top.
This recipe is delicious. The mustard gives it a different and grown-up taste. You can also roast the butternut squash, which gives it a more robust flavor.
I did this recipe a few weeks ago at our Yoga Center and my friend Kathleen reviewed it in her blog.
Hope you like it too. Tell me all about it if you try it.