The cold months are coming, which means comfort food like…..Mac & Cheese! We think if you’re going to go for it, might as well add a little something skinful in there! Which is why we love this recipe for Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese. Butternut squash is loaded with Vitamin A… and Vitamin A helps keep your skin’s pH on the acidic side (just enough to keep bacteria at bay) and promotes cell turnover, so your skin doesn’t become dry, rough, and scaly. This recipe will definitely come in handy as the weather starts to get colder!
So go ahead and indulge in this incredibly skinful dish…
¾ lb (340 g) penne or elbow macaroni
4 tbsp butter
½ medium onion, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
4 tbsp flour
2½ cups milk
10 ounces (2½ cups) shredded cheddar cheese, or a combination of cheddar and gruyere
1 cup cooked, pureed butternut squash (see cooking note above), from ½ medium squash
⅛ tsp nutmeg
⅛ tsp pepper
salt, to taste
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko
2 tbsp minced fresh parsley (or 1 tsp dried)
1 tsp lemon zest, optional
2 tbsp melted butter
½ cup (2 ounces) shredded cheddar cheese
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water until al dente (for elbow macaroni, that’s about 7 minutes, for penne, more like 10). Drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and cook until softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook 30 seconds. Add flour and cook, stirring constantly, 1 minute. Gradually whisk in milk, a bit at a time.
Bring sauce to a boil over medium-high heat, then reduce to low and cook until thickened slightly, about 5 minutes.
Add shredded cheese, whisking until smooth. Whisk in butternut squash puree, nutmeg, pepper, and salt to taste. Add pasta to the sauce and stir to evenly coat. Transfer pasta to a buttered 2 quart (2 litre) baking dish.
In a medium bowl, combine all topping ingredients and sprinkle evenly over pasta. Transfer dish to oven and bake until topping is golden and sauce is bubbling at edges, about 20 minutes.