Want to know the craziest thing about this dish? The orange mac-and-cheese color in this pasta is all natural! Eveny pick eaters won’t know the difference, and you can sneak in a huge serving of healthy veggies without anyone being any wiser.
I’m going through a major baked pasta craze right now — I love making them on Sundays and then having quick, easy homemade dinners all through the week. Life has been so crazy lately, those extra few minutes on weeknights really make a difference!
I’m off to New York on Wednesday for a really awesome new project — can’t wait to tell you guys about it! I’m a little nervous about packing — it’s still so warm and beautiful in Texas (barely even cool enough for long pants), I can’t believe it’s sweater and jacket weather in the Northeast!
Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
1 pound macaroni pasta
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons butter
1 shallot, chopped
1 tsp smoked paprika
2 cups vegetable stock
1 large butternut squash
2 cups sharp cheddar, grated
1 cup grated Parmesan
First, cut the squash in half and roast it at 450 degrees for one hour, or until squash can be poked through with a fork. Once the squash is roasted, scoop out the flesh and reserve. Turn the oven temperature down to 350 degrees F.
Heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water then add the pasta and cook to al dente or, with a bite to it.
While pasta cooks, heat a medium heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the shallot. Cook the shallot for a minute or so, and then all the vegetable stock. Once everything is warm, combine with the butternut squash and cook for 5-8 minutes, stirring frequently. Stir in cheeses in a figure 8 motion and season the completed sauce with salt, paprika and pepper. Taste to adjust seasonings.
Drain cooked pasta well and combine with sauce. Place in a baking dish and cook, covered with tin foil, for approximately 15 minutes, and serve.