This recipe showed up in my November '09 issue of Parents Magazine, and I just happened to have some mini-pasta and squash on hand to give it a try! The result - creamy, cheesy mac with a little fall flair! The original recipe was for 6 small servings baked in ramekins - I doubled everything and made a 9X13 pan. The recipe below reflects my adjustments.
The recipe calls for white cheddar cheese, but you can use any hard or semi-soft cheese - try a fontina, farmer cheese, or cheddar jack to mix up the flavor!
Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
1 butternut squash (about 2-3 pounds), peeled and cut into half-inch cubes
1 1/2 Tbsp olive oil
1/2 tsp Kosher salt
1 lb box elbow pasta (or other small pasta)
1/4 cup butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
3 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
-Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
-Toss squash with oil and salt on a foil-lined baking sheet. Bake for 20 minutes or until tender, set aside.
-Cook pasta for 2 minutes less than recommended time. While pasta is cooking, melt butter on low heat in a medium saucepan. Whisk in flour, cook for about 2 minutes.
-Slowly whisk in milk. (add about a half cup at a time to avoid scalding the milk) Increase to medium heat and bring to a boil, then lower heat to simmer. Cook for 3 minutes, whisking occasionally.
-Add 3 cups of cheese, whisk until melted.
-Combine drained pasta and baked squash in a 9X13 baking dish. Pour cheese sauce over pasta and squash, fold to combine and spread evenly (I used a slotted spoon)
-Sprinkle remaining cheese over the top of the pasta. Bake 10 minutes.
Squash - $1.80
Pasta - $0.75
Olive Oil - $0.12
Butter - $0.20
Flour - $0.02
Milk - $0.42
Cheese - $1.75
Grand Total: $5.06 for 8 servings!