Wednesday, December 28, 2011

Squash Macaroni and Cheese

This is another successful recipe from Cooking Light magazine. I tagged it in my September issue but kind of forgot about it until I spotted it on Prevention RD. The squash purèed and mixed with the cheeses makes this mac and cheese taste like it is terrible for you. Isn't that what you want in a bowl of mac and cheese?! This would be a great way to sneak a veggie serving to kids or other picky eaters. You can certainly taste the squash though, so I am not sure it would work for someone that despises butternut squash. (I find it hard to believe that such people exist!) I made this awhile back and am adding it to our menu again next week. I highly recommend you make this soon. I'd say it is one of the best new recipes we tried in 2011.

You will need:
*3 cups butternut squash (about 1 pound), cubed and peeled
*1 1/4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth
*1 1/2 cups skim milk
*2 garlic cloves
*1 teaspoon kosher salt
*1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
*2 tablespoons nonfat Greek yogurt
*1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
*1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
*1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
*1 pound uncooked pasta (I used one 13.25 oz. box of whole wheat rotini)
*2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley (omitted)

1. Preheat oven to 375°.

2. Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium for about 25 minutes until squash is tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat.

3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt, drain well.

4. Carefully, place the hot squash mixture in a blender. (I am lazy with blending recipes and always use my immersion blender!) Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. If you use a blender, remove the top's center to allow heat to escape. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid to help prevent splattering. Blend until smooth.

4. Place blended mixture in a bowl. Stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano, and Parmigiano-Reggiano until combined. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Sprinkle with parsley if desired, and serve immediately.

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