So, Tracy posted about homemade mac 'n' cheese last week. And then, the weather was drizzly and grey all weekend, so of COURSE mac 'n' cheese had to be made.
I remember that Rachael Ray once did a butternut squash mac 'n' cheese, and, while I know it is fashionable to hate on RayRay, anything that lets me sneak veggies into my unsuspecting picky eater is all good in my book.
So, I did a sort of remember it/wing it combo here. It turned out SUPER yum -- enough that I think this might become my default cheese sauce recipe, and a regular in the rotation.
Vivi helped make the cheese sauce and sprinkle on the "cinnamon" (breadcrumb topping), and ate two servings. THAT is some success, right there.
Mac 'n' Cheese
1 pound whole wheat cavatappi or elbow noodles, cooked about 1 minute less than shortest cooking time given on package
2 tbsp butter
1 small onion, grated
1 tsp ground mustard
1 generous pinch salt (around 1.5 tsp)
1 package frozen butternut squash, thawed
4 grinds of black pepper (1/4 tsp)
1/2 c unsweetened vanilla almond milk (but could sub liquid dairy of any persuasion here)
2 c grated sharp cheddar cheese
1/2 c grated parmesan
1 tbsp butter, melted
1/2 c breadcrumbs
Preheat the oven to 350.
Prepare pasta according to package directions. While pasta cooks, heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium heat. Melt the 2 tbsp of butter. Add the grated onion, mustard, salt, and pepper, and saute until onion is fragrant and translucent. Stir in the butternut squash puree and almond milk, and warm through. Incorporate the cheddar cheese, stirring until melted. Add a good-sized ladleful (about 1/2 c) of the pasta cooking water to thin the sauce. Reduce heat to low, stir in the parmesan.
Drain the pasta, and pour the noodles into the cheese sauce, tossing to coat. Turn the noodle mixture into a casserole dish. Combine the breadcrumbs and melted butter, and sprinkle over the noodles as a topping.
Bake 15-20 minutes, or until sauce is bubbly and top is browned.