Foodiesphere: Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Another recipe post. I’ve come to really like cooking with sweet potato and butternut squash. The natural sugars in squash have quenched my desire for sweetness without having to sacrifice fiber. Overall, it’s a great ingredient. I’m happy that come Fall it’s excessively pushed in all groceries. I still loathe all squash infected beers or blended coffee drinks, but that’s a rant for another time…

This particular recipe lacks in protein. I suspect I could dice up some chicken and add that and I wonder if tuna could be an option. It may seem counter-intuitive taste-wise, but I always use to mix in tuna when I made standard mac & cheese so I have wonder if it may not fit here. Something to think about for another day.

Ingredients

Package of penne pasta (or whatever preferred pasta)
1 butternut squash (medium-to-small)
Half package of bacon
2 tbs. butter
1/2 onion, diced
2 cups milk or half/half
8 oz. sharp cheddar cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan (plus a little extra for the topping)
bread crumbs

Directions

Cut butternut squash in half lengthwise and place on a cookie sheet. Place the cut side down (unlike what I have done here).

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This is a roughly 7 1/2 inch long butternut squash

Roast in oven for about 45 minutes at 400°. Perhaps longer depending on the size of your butternut. When done, let it cool and then scrape out the squash into a bowl and mash it up.
In a pan, met butter and saute diced onion with chopped up bacon. I try to get the bacon as crispy or as close to crispy as possible. This time through, I didn’t quite make it that long but I did saute the bacon for about fifteen minutes.

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Have the pasta cooking in a separate pan. When the onion and bacon are at a stage where you’re comfortable, add squash and milk. Mix it all well and bring it to a low boil.

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Lower the heat and add your cheese (cheddar and Parmesan). Mix it all well. Add pasta and mix until completely covered.

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Transfer the mixture to a baking pan. I have two 9×9 Pyrex dishes that work quite well. But I think an kind of baking dish or casserole dish would work.

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Sprinkle some breadcrumbs over the top (just light coating) and then the remainder of your Parmesan. Bake at 400° for 30 minutes until the top is a nice brown.
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