Butternut Mac 'n' Cheese

Recipe by veghead in ny




  • Squash:
  • Preheat oven to 400°F.
  • Cut squash in half, lengthwise and rub cut side with olive oil.
  • Place cut-side down on a baking sheet and roast for 60 - 75 minutes or until completely cooked and soft.
  • Scoop out flesh while still warm and break apart with a spoon.
  • Timing-wise, finish the squash roughly the same time the pasta and the sauce is cooked so that it's still warm.
  • NOTE: You can change the ratio of squash to macaroni if you want it to be more or less squashy—I think this ratio is ideal because is comes out like mac n’ cheese but there is still a good amount of squash hiding in there --.
  • Cook macaroni in salted water.
  • Let drain well. Timing-wise, finish the pasta and the sauce about the same time.
  • Sauce:
  • In a saucepan, melt the butter on MEDIUM heat until shimmery.
  • Stir in the onion as it's prepped, then the nutmeg and white pepper, cook until onions soften.
  • Stir in the flour and mix well.
  • A tablespoon at a time, add the milk, incorporating each tablespoon well before adding another. (If you add it all at once, or without working in each time, there's risk of ending up with a lumpy sauce).
  • Stirring often, let the sauce come almost to the boiling point, it will thicken slightly.
  • Add the cheese and let melt, adjusting temperature so that the sauce won't boil. (It's not a disaster if it does, since it's going into the casserole, but it'll look curdled).
  • In a large bowl, break the squash apart, mashing it really, with a wooden spoon.
  • Stir in the hot, drained pasta and combine well, distributing the squash throughout. Stir in the sauce and combine well.
  • Transfer to a greased baking dish.
  • If you like, sprinkle the top with pimento or paprika.
  • If making ahead, let cool to room temperature, cover and refrigerate.
  • BAKE.
  • Return dish to room temperature.
  • Bake at 350°F for 30 minutes until hot and bubbly throughout.
  • To add color to the top, place under the broiler for 2 - 3 minutes, watching carefully so not to burn. When covered with foil, holds its temperature for a good 30 minutes.