recipe vegetables vegetarian

Roasted Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

30 November 2012

Thanksgiving was lovely, and now it’s on to the next thing, yes? This is how this time of year makes me feel: happy, so happy to be celebrating and cooking and gathering together, but then as soon as the dishes have been cleared it’s time to think about the next event/dinner/etc. I love that in a way: always planning and plotting. Yet also: whew.

I am currently sipping a late cup of coffee while listening the rain come down on the fire escape outside. My new ‘office’ is a little corner of our bedroom where I have squeezed in my desk, a gift from my parents ages ago. There’s a window in front of me as well as to my right; the one to my right is open a little and all I hear is drip-drip-drip. Atop the desk are piles of paper, my camera, a lamp, and a notebook that currently contains lists in various stages of completion. I’m staring down another article that is taking much longer than it should (photos are finished, however, which is nearly half the battle). I have a pot of minestrone soup going on the stove and a batch of flourless ginger cookies in the oven. I’m starting to think about lunch options.

I’m also contemplating taking the afternoon off and going for a rainy trek in Point Reyes to bid adieu to Drake’s Bay Oyster Co. and watch the fall on the redwoods in Samuel P. Taylor Park. Then again … there is that imminent deadline. And I have a wedding cake to start baking. Better to be ‘good’ and stay home.

As a consolation prize for applying myself to my tasks, I have the last of the roasted butternut squash macaroni and cheese I made last week for our pre-Thanksgiving dinner. The New York Times ran a story on ‘vegetarian comfort food’ that immediately caught my because there is little else I love more than vegetarian comfort food as this site no doubt proves. I’m also on a mission to convert DW to butternut squash, as he has an extreme aversion to orange vegetables (though will eat my pumpkin-chocolate chip cookies without issue and I think I did catch him eating his entire bowl of pumpkin-leek soup on Thanksgiving …), or at least the idea of them. Folding a roasted squash puree into mac and cheese seemed a good way to entice him into eating it.

It’s a simple enough recipe, just butternut squash roasted and pureed and folded into a cheese sauce that’s then draped over pasta and baked a little while longer. While the squash roasts, you can make the sauce and pasta, and the ‘active’ time is whittled down to about 20 minutes. It also makes an enormous amount: a family of four could get about two dinners out of this (for two people we had 2 dinners and lunches besides). I doctored up the recipe a bit, adding dried herbs, a bit more salt, and used whole wheat macaroni, which I personally prefer, and it’s worth clicking the link to see a few other recipes included in the article.

Hard to believe Thanksgiving was already over a week ago – the turkey leftovers (I went the Trader Joe’s pre-brined bird route this year, and a 14-pounder was done in about 3 hours; my tiny oven, occasionally the subject of much ire, never fails to astonish) are long since digested and I am starting to write up a menu for our holiday party in few weeks (flourless desserts, naturally, will feature). There is just one more month of 2012 – hold on. I aim to make it count.

 

 

  • Stephanie 2 December 2012 at 4:37 pm

    Thanks so much for this. I had a butternut squash searching for meaning and made this tonight following the NYT recipe. (I didn’t have gruyere on hand) I halved the recipe, added a bit of salt and used half white and half yellow cheddar. Everyone cleaned their plates! They couldn’t place the taste but finished it up. I had made earlier in the day and refrigerated, so I cooked at 400 for about 25 minutes. I had some leftover cheese sauce to which I added worcester sauce and dry mustard for welsh rarebit over toast for lunch. I had forgotten how much I loved that as a kid. This was a really nice change from straight up Mac and cheese (and snuck in some more veggies). The rest of the roasted butternut is going to find a home in pasta sauce later this week!

  • little kitchie 1 December 2012 at 5:56 am

    i just love butternut squash in pasta dishes! and with lots of cheese… yum.

    beautiful post! i hope you post those ginger cookies soon – those are our favorites!!

  • Art & Lemons 1 December 2012 at 5:53 am

    Yowzer, this looks good! Is it wrong that I’m craving mac & cheese for breakfast now?

  • Lisa 30 November 2012 at 2:17 pm

    I’m feeling incredibly homesick for an evening with the 6 of us tucked into your living room drinking wine and playing board games. This mac ‘n cheese would have been the perfect meal (for some of us).

  • sizzle 30 November 2012 at 1:33 pm

    YUM