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As the late fall share comes to an end we have had lots of butternut squash lately, and kale. Meghan came across a recipe for macaroni and cheese, but made with butternut squash. The creaminess of the squash means you can use less cheese but still get a very similar flavor. For added benefit, we used Barilla Plus macaroni (but whole wheat would be good as well) and unsweetened coconut milk in place of the almond milk in the recipe. And we kept it vegetarian by using vegetable stock in place of chicken stock.
In a saute pan over medium heat, cook the kale and 1/4 cup of water until the kale cooks down, about 20 minutes. Slice the kale into strips.
In a large stockpot, cook the squash, garlic, thyme, milk and stock over medium heat. Bring to a boil and then simmer for 15-20 minutes, until the squash is tender. Season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Stir in the kale.
Cook the pasta as directed.
In a casserole dish, add the pasta and top with the squash sauce. Cover with foil and bake for 45 minutes at 375F.
Remove from the oven and top with the cheese, Panko and parsley mix. Return to the oven and cook for another 5-10 minutes, until slightly browned. Makes 6 servings.