Butternut Squasharoni and Cheese Recipe
I’m still in the honeymoon phase of this year’s love affair with Autumn, as it hasn’t snowed yet and the trees still have their fire-hued leaves, so I’ve got a few more seasonal recipes in me. Once the trees are all dead sticks creaking under their thin coats of ice, I’ll likely be thoroughly sick of squash and pumpkins and what-have-yous, but for today, I still love butternut squash and it’s forty-cents-a-pound-ness.
I’ve also got a toddler at home having a not eating phase, and it’s reached the “Oh, you’ll eat mac and cheese?!? Then you can have all the mac and cheese in the world forever!!!,” stage, I imagine most of you parents out there can relate. Not that this was one of those vegetable tricks recipes that make it on the Rachel Ray show or some nonsense, more a recipe for me, so I don’t start to hate macaroni because I have too many lunches of congealed blue box stuff eaten out of a cold pan over a cold stove.
I made the puree by roasting a b-nut squash in the oven with some salt and a bit of fresh thyme and dried sage in a little hip-bath of water. Once it was all soft and squishy, about 40 minutes later, I pulled it out and let it cool its heels for a few minutes just until it wasn’t too hot to peel before removing the skin. The squash went into the mixing bowl with a little butter, some veggie stock and some more salt and pepper, etc, to my taste, then I beat it with my mixer.
The recipe is actually super easy-peasy if you already have butternut squash puree, which isn’t that uncommon in my house this time of year, because, I’ll say again, forty-cents-a-pound-ness. I normally make baked macaroni with a bechamel (roux-thickened milk sauce) to which I add tons of cheese, so I simply substituted butternut squash puree for the bechamel, adding vegetable stock and stirring until I found the consistency I liked. Once I had that going in a saucepan, I sprinkled in about a cup and a half of cheese while whisking constantly. And then I got out more cheese and added it, too, because we like cheese.
I poured the finished sauce over a baking pan full of al dente macaroni noodles, added in about another 1/2 cup of cheese, and sprinkled a little-buttered panko over top and baking just until the panko started to crisp. We had ours as a main dish with a green salad, and since it’s totally vegetarian, you could make it a meatless Monday special, or serve it as a next level holiday side dish, however you like.
ITEMS WE USED TO MAKE THIS RECIPE