My childhood babysitter, Zoë, can attest to the fact that mac n' cheese was hands down my favorite food. This is a twist on that classic creamy cheese sauce that we all love. It's remarkably simple and emulates the textures, flavors and comforts of good ole mac and cheese. This vegetable based sauce is a great way to introduce fickle eaters to new flavors and add nutritional benefits to a family favorite. Bon appetit and happy holidays!
butternut squash mac n' cheese
1 medium butternut squash, about 4 cups cubed
2 shallots, peeled and sliced
2 cloves garlic, peeled
3 Tbsp cold butter
1/4 cup nutritional yeast
1 lbs pasta, cooked al dente
1 cup grated parmesan
1/2 cup bread crumbs
1 - 1.5 tsp salt
sage to garnish
Pre heat oven to 375° F. Lightly grease a 9 x 13 casserole dish.
Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain, reserving 2 cups of the cooking liquid. Set aside.
Peel and remove seeds from squash and cut into approximately 1" dice. Add squash, shallot, and garlic to a pot. Cover with water and boil until tender, approximately 15 minutes. Strain excess water. Working in batches (2-3 depending on the size of your blender) add squash, garlic and shallot into a blender with enough reserved cooking liquid to create a thick sauce, adding water as needed. With the blender running add half of the butter, nutritional yeast, and salt through the opening of the lid on top of the blender. Blend until smooth, pour into a bowl. Repeat until all ingredients are blended. Mix batches together in a large bowl, and season with additional salt if needed. Add pasta to bowl and mix to coat.
Transfer into prepared casserole dish. Top with shredded cheese and bread crumbs. Bake for 15 minutes. Increase oven temperature to broil, move pan to rack nearest to the flame and broil for 3-5 minutes rotating if needed until golden and crispy. Top with torn sage to serve.