Random recipe: Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

Lately (maybe it is the pregnancy) I have been craving pasta. I might need more carbs as this baby grows inside me. This week we decided we would try a new pasta option. We are both for the most part fans of butternut squash. This dish felt on the heavier side, a thicker sauce, and maybe it is my desire these days for everything to have salt, but I wanted to add flake salt before eating. Definitely worth trying and fairly easy to make. But what do I know? Chris is the chef.

 

Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

1 pound of pasta
Extra virgin olive oil
1 shallot, diced
2 tablespoons flour
2 tablespoons milk (or more if needed)
10 oz pureed butternut squash (we cheated and bought frozen)
1 cup of Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup of Parmesan cheese, grated
A few tablespoons of roughly chopped fresh thyme
Salt and pepper

Bring a large pot to a boil over medium-high heat and dump in your pasta. Cook accordingly.

While pasta is boiling, add chopped shallot and about 2 tablespoons of olive oil to a large saucepan over medium-high heat. Add a dash of salt and pepper. Saute about three minutes or until nice and tender. Add in one more drizzle of olive oil. Next, whisk in your flour and cook for about a minute. Then, whisk in your milk. Whisk everything together and then add in the pureed squash. Continue whisking over medium-high heat until the sauce thickens. Whisk in shredded Cheddar and grated Parmesan cheese along with the thyme. Add more milk if it gets too thick and keep whisking!

Drain the water from your cooked pasta and pour the squash mixture over the top of the pasta. Serve immediately. Garnish with extra Parmesan and thyme if you’d like.

Your family will love it…butternut squash and all.

Random recipe: Cheesy Spaghetti Squash

One of our favorite restaurants in Portland, Ox, has the most amazing Spaghetti Squash. I had never had spaghetti squash until a few years ago at my first visit to Ox. Their version is: Coal-Roasted Spaghetti Squash, Toasted Garlic, Lemon, Aged Goat Cheese. You had me at goat cheese. I am a fan of almost anything with goat cheese. Last week, Chris, tried a new recipe we found for spaghetti squash. It was good, very good. Do not be deterred by how much description is below. It is actually much easier than it looks.

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Cheesy Spaghetti Squash
Creamy spaghetti squash with cheese and herbs, topped with crunchy panko. Serves 4.
Found: Megan (I Eat Therefore I Cook)

Ingredients
  • 1 Large Spaghetti Squash
  • 1/2 TBSP Olive Oil
  • 1/4 Cup Shredded Mozzarella Cheese,
  • 1/4 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 2 TSP Fresh Thyme, Chopped
  • 1 TSP Fresh Oregano, Chopped
  • 1/2 TSP Pepper
  • 1 TSP Garlic Powder
  • 1 TSP Onion Powder
  • 1 TSP Paprika
  • 1/4 cup Panko
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Pierce squash with knife a couple of times. Place on baking sheet and place in oven for about 1 hour, or until the squash is easily pierced with a knife.
  2. Turn up oven to 400 degrees.
  3. Let cool and slice in half. Remove seeds from squash with spoon. Scoop out squash insides into a large bowl. Add olive oil, mozzarella cheese, thyme, oregano, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder and paprika. Mix together until evenly distributed.
  4. In a 8 by 8 glass baking dish, place squash mixture in pan. Spread evenly. Sprinkle Parmesan cheese on top evenly. Sprinkle panko on top evenly. Place in oven and cook until panko becomes golden brown, about 20 minutes. Serve immediately and enjoy.
  5. Note: We skipped step 1, and cut the squash in half, placed face side up with wax paper on top, and put in the microwave for 20 minutes, then went right to step 3.

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Let me know if you try to make it, and if you do what you think!