Oh man! There are few things I love more than cheese and carbs together. Sadly my waist isn’t as big a fan as my taste buds. This recipes let’s me get my fix without feeling guilty about it. The key is to use strong cheeses so that you don’t have to use a lot to get a fantastic cheesy flavor. The squash gets pureed to give the dish that creamy texture you would expect from mac & cheese but without the butter.
1 lb. dry whole wheat macaroni, or other bite sized pasta
1 tsp. olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
2 medium red bell peppers, chopped
3 cups cubed butternut squash
1¾ cups low-sodium organic chicken broth
1 cup low-fat (1%) milk
2 Tbsp. low-fat (1%) plain Greek yogurt
1 cup shredded Gruyere (or Swiss) cheese
1 cup shredded extra sharp cheddar cheese
Sea salt and ground black pepper (to taste; optional)
Nonstick cooking spray
Finely chopped fresh parsley (for garnish; optional)
1. Preheat oven to 375° F.
2. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain and set aside.
3. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium-high heat and add onions and bell pepper. Stir frequently for 4 to 6 minutes or until onions are translucent. Set aside.
4. Combine squash, broth, and milk in a medium saucepan. Bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat and gently boil for 22 to 25 minutes, or until squash is tender.
5. In small batches put squash mixture in a blender or food processor and cover with lid and kitchen towel. Blend until smooth.
6. Combine squash mixture, pasta, onions & bell pepper, yogurt, and cheeses. Season with salt and pepper if desired and mix well.
7. Place pasta mixture in a 13 x 9-inch ceramic or glass baking dish that has been coated with spray. Bake for 25 to 30 minutes, or until sauce is bubbling.
8. Garnish with parsley if desired.
This recipe make 10 servings.