Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Healthy(er) Mac and Cheese


I love Macaroni and Cheese….from the blue box, to home made.  I used to make a homemade version of Mac and Cheese, but it was full of fat and heavy on the calories. Years ago, I came across a version of the recipe below, and though with a few changes, this would be great.  I have made it many times, and everytime I serve it all I hear is how wonderful it is.
 
 

First off start with a medium size butternut squash.   


Peel it with a vegetable peeler,and remove the seeds


Cut squash in 1 inch pieces.


Place squash and onion in broth, with spices. 


Boil until squash and onion are tender.


Remove the squash mixture and puree until smooth.


Mix Butternut Squash and cooked pasta together with cheeses

Healthy(er) Mac and Cheese 

INGREDIENTS:
1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes 
1 Onion, Chopped
1 large can chicken or vegetable stock, or canned low-sodium chicken broth
Freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
3/4 tablespoon coarse salt, plus more for water
Freshly ground black pepper
1 pound elbow macaroni
8-12 ounces extra-sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated (I also used Provolone)
4 tablespoons finely grated Parmesan cheese
2 tablespoons fine bread crumbs, or Panko
1 teaspoon olive oil
Olive-oil cooking spray  

DIRECTIONS:
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Combine squash, and stock 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.

Meanwhile, bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt. 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, and 2 tablespoons Parmesan.
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, the remaining 2 tablespoons Parmesan, and oil; sprinkle evenly over noodle mixture.

Cover with aluminum foil, and bake 20 minutes. Remove foil, and continue baking until lightly browned and crisp on top, 30 to 40 minutes more. Serve immediately.

(I add seasoned breadcrumbs to the topping as well,)

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