Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash

Serving Size: 6

Ricotta and pureed squash give this familiar dish its creaminess.

Ingredients

  • 1 small butternut squash (about 1 pound), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • olive oil and cooking spray
  • 1 tsp olive oil
  • 2 Tbsp fine breadcrumbs
  • 4 Tbsp Parmesan cheese, finely grated (1 ounce)
  • 4 Ounce extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 1 cup)
  • 1 Pound elbow macaroni
  • freshly ground black pepper
  • 0.75 tsp coarse salt
  • pinch of cayenne pepper
  • pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1.5 cup nonfat milk
  • 1 cup homemade or low-sodium canned chicken stock, skimmed of fat
  • 0.5 cup part-skim ricotta cheese

Directions

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Combine squash, stock, and milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium; simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 20 minutes. Remove from heat. Mash contents of saucepan; stir in nutmeg, cayenne, and salt, and season with black pepper. Stir to combine.
  2. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add noodles; cook until al dente according to package instructions, about 8 minutes. Drain, and transfer to a large bowl; stir in squash mixture, cheddar, ricotta, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
  3. Lightly coat a 9-inch square baking dish (4 inches deep) with cooking spray. Transfer noodle mixture to dish. In a small bowl, combine breadcrumbs, remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle evenly over noodle mixture.
  4. Cover with foil, and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, 30 to 40 minutes more. Serve immediately.