This recipe (from Ellie Kruger) was sent to me by CSA member Alicia. It is a way to add nutrition and flavour to an old favourite for many, mac and cheese. You could also try substituting puréed sweet potato or carrots for the winter squash.
Macaroni and 4 Cheeses
- Cooking spray Or butter or olive oil
- 1 pound elbow macaroni
- 10 ounces pureed frozen or fresh winter squash about 1 1/4 cups
- 2 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
- 4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar grated, about 1 1/3 cups
- 2 ounces Monterrey jack cheese grated, about 2/3 cup
- 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
- 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
- 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. (In my house we keep our empty butter wrappers folded up in the fridge for this purpose. The butter that sticks to the wrapper can be easily smeered onto your baking or frying pan and then you throw the wrapper away.)
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.
Meanwhile, place the squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally. If your squash is frozen, break up the squash with a spoon until it is defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, jack cheese, ricotta cheese, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.
Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.