Oohh the comfort and coziness of creamy Mac N cheese! I'll tell ya, I am a sucker for pasta, especially cheesy pasta. It has cooled down in Tahoe and I am craving ALL the things. With some inspiration from seeing a take on classic macaroni and cheese floating around recently, and help from our household chef, (literally a chef), we whipped up this butternut squash mac n cheese! I always want to try alternatives to some traditional dishes but I get overwhelmed with the options and trying to find ingredients that I don't normally have on hand. This recipe used common pantry items, or at least easy to find in the store, and didn't take long to make! Of course, there are substitutions you could make if you prefer, i.e. regular flour, another kind of milk, but I'll give you the down low of what we used!
1 butternut squash - 1-2lbs
3 cups coconut milk (I used a mix of can and carton)
4 cloves roasted garlic (you can use minced if you don't want to roast-we did this earlier in the day for other purposes)
1/2 cup nutritional yeast
1 tbsp flour (I used Bob's Red Mill 1 to 1 gluten free flour)
2 tbsp fresh lemon juice
1/2 tsp salt (or to taste, I love salt)
1 tsp smoked paprika
1lb pasta - your fav macaroni style pasta!
Optional topping: 1/2 cups of bread crumbs and 1 cup freshly grated cheese
Place 3 cups of coconut milk in a large pot
Peel and cube squash, add to pot, start on medium once hot turn down to simmer until squash is soft.
Meanwhile, mix all dry ingredients in a separate bowl, if you have roasted garlic add here, if minced put in pot with coconut milk and squash.
Boil pasta, strain and set aside.
Oil a 13x9 baking pan.
Once squash is soft (30-45 min) add dry ingredients and lemon juice to pot. Stir and let thicken for 5-10 minutes.
Grab a large mixing bowl and set aside
Set oven to 350 F
Pour mixture into blender (we had to do this in two batches) and blend until smooth, pour mixture into bowl, blend second batch if need.
Toss the pasta into the sauce, then pour into a baking dish, drizzle a little extra sauce on top. (We had a good amount of extra sauce, and did not use it all)
Top with breadcrumbs and fresh cheese if you want!
Put in oven 10-15 minutes and enjoy this healthier take on mac n cheese!!