Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

This Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese is a healthier version of a recipe a friend told me about over text message.  It was a list of ingredients, and contained the phrase “out of this world good.”  Of course I made it the next day, and it really is perfect for the times you crave a warm dish from childhood.  We use rice pasta, although I’m sure other kinds work as well.  For other ideas on what to make with Butternut Squash, check out our recipes for Butternut Squash Soup and Butternut Squash and Chickpea Curry.  Enjoy!

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

3 cups squash, peeled and chopped
1 1/2 cups milk
1 cup broth (we use McCormick’s all-vegetable chicken style bouillon that has no msg, artificial colors or flavors)
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
cayenne pepper to taste
1 16oz/454g bag rice pasta (elbows or shells)
1 cup sharp/aged cheddar cheese, grated
1/2 cup ricotta (I usually don’t have this on hand, so I often make the recipe without it.  Just add a little more milk for a bit more creamy goodness)
2 Tbsp Parmesan

In a deep saucepan bring squash, milk and broth to a boil.  Simmer until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes.  Meanwhile, grate the cheese and boil the pasta until al dente.  Grease a medium sized baking dish.  Preheat the oven to 375.

When the squash is tender, blend with a hand blender or mash the squash.  Add the cheddar (and ricotta if you have it), nutmeg, cayenne.  Stir to combine.  Add pasta and mix until everything is coated.  Pour it into the baking dish, sprinkle with Parmesan cheese, pop it into the oven and bake for 20 minutes.  Serve with a big salad and voila!