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Food, Main Dishes

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Image Source: Food Network

If you cook regularly, it can be difficult to think of new things to try. You might get stuck in a rut, lacking creativity. A new take on an American classic is Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese. It only takes five minutes to prepare and 15 minutes to cook, yielding five servings. Try this recipe from Food Network’s Rachael Ray! Can’t go wrong with something this warm and cheesy!

Image Source: Food Network

Ingredients:

  1. 1 pound macaroni with lines (like tubatini or mini penne rigate for example)
  2. Salt
  3. 2 tablespoons butter
  4. 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil (or EVOO for short)
  5. ½ medium onion
  6. 2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves (plus a few sprigs of garnish)
  7. 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour
  8. 2 cups chicken stock
  9. 1-10 ounce box of frozen cooked butternut squash (defrosted)
  10. 2 cups (8 ounces) of sharp Cheddar (grated)
  11. 1 cup cream (or half-and-half)
  12. ½ cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano (a couple of handfuls)
  13. ¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg (eyeball it)
  14. Black pepper

Directions:

  1. Heat a pot of water until boiling for the pasta. Salt the water and then add the pasta. Cook until the pasta has a little bit of a bite to it.
  2. While the pasta cooks, heat a medium heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the EVOO and butter. After the butter and oil have melted together, add the thyme.
  3. Grate the onion directly into the pot. Cook the onion with the oil and butter for one to two minutes.
  4. Add the flour and cook from another one to two minutes.
  5. Whisk in the chicken stock, and then combine with the butternut squash until warmed and smooth.
  6. Stir in the cream (or half-and-half) while bringing the sauce to a bubble.
  7. Add the cheeses while stirring in a figure eight motion.
  8. Season the completed sauce with the salt, nutmeg, and pepper to your preference.
  9. Drain cooked pasta and combine with sauce. Serve with the remaining springs of thyme.

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