Thursday, February 4, 2016

Stovetop Mac & Cheese


I love mac and cheese. Not the out-of-the-blue-box processed stuff, but REAL homemade mac and cheese. This recipe is one of my favorites, and since squash supplements the cheese, I don't feel quite as guilty as I heap a second helping onto my plate.

What You'll Need:
½ pound butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch cubes
½ pound pasta (I use a brown rice spiral shaped pasta)
1 Tablespoon unsalted butter
½ cup finely chopped onions
¾ cup finely chopped red pepper (about 1 red pepper... use two if you love veggies)
6 ounces chorizo (or other sausage of your choice), crumbled or diced
2 Tablespoons rice flour
1 cup low sodium chicken or vegetable broth
4 ounces extra sharp cheddar cheese, finely grated

Directions:
  1. Cook the squash either in the microwave or oven. To cook in the microwave, place the squash in a bowl with ½ inch of water in the bottom. Cover the bowl with a plate and microwave on high for 4-5 minutes, or until the squash is very tender. To roast in the oven, preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the squash cubes in olive oil, salt, and pepper and spread on a baking sheet. Roast until the squash is very tender, stirring halfway through, about 20-25 minutes. Cool to room temperature.
  2. Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain, reserving ½ cup of the pasta water.
  3. In a large skillet, heat the butter over medium. When melted, add the onions and red pepper and cook, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. 
  4. Add the sausage and cook, stirring, just until it breaks down and releases moisture, 3-5 minutes.
  5. Add the flour and stir until it is incorporated with the vegetables and no white spots remain. 
  6. Add the roasted squash, broth, and the reserved ½ cup of pasta water and bring to a simmer. Simmer for 5 minutes. If large pieces of squash remain, use a spatula or spoon to gently press them against the sides and bottom of the pan to break apart. (You want most of the squash to dissolve into the sauce, with just a few small pieces remaining.)
  7. Turn the heat off and stir in the pasta and cheddar cheese until evenly combined. Serve immediately.

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