Who doesn’t love butternut squash? But I have to say that the squash that comes out of my garden is so much more flavorful that what you get in the store, there really is no comparison. If you can’t grow your own, try to get it from a farm market or farmer’s market, it will be worth your effort.
I got this recipe from Iowa Girl Eats, the thought of using smoked cheddar drew me in. So I decided to try it when my macaroni and cheese aficionado (Lauren) was home. She gave it a definite thumbs up, including extra servings.
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
adapted from Iowa Girl Eats
1 lb rigatoni (I use mezze rigatoni, I like the size better)
1 1/2 lbs butternut squash, cut in small cubes (from the garden)
2 1/2 cups 1% milk
1/4 cup flour
1/4 cup light cream
8 ounces smoked cheddar or gruyere cheese, about 1 ounce reserved
3 Tbsp panko bread crumbs
Cook the rigatoni according to package directions.
In a large pot over medium heat, cook the squash in the milk until very tender, stirring occasionally. This will take a while, so be patient. About 30 minutes or more.
Heat the oven to 425F. Coat a 9 x 13 pan with cooking spray.
Stream in a slurry of the flour and cream into the milk. Cook for a few minutes, until the sauce is thick and luxurious. Remove from heat and stir in about 7 ounces of the cheese. Stir until creamy.
Pour the noodles and squash-cheese sauce into a large bowl and mix together.
Transfer to the baking dish. Top with remaining cheese and bread crumbs.
Bake for 15 minutes. Serve and enjoy!