Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

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There's no butter used in this version of mac & cheese, but you won't miss it. It's really yummy and satisfies all comfort food cravings.

Difficulty: Medium - experience needed
Serves: 8

Preparation time:
Cooking time:

Ingredients

- 3 c. butternut squash, peeled, cubed (~1 in.)
- 1 1/4 c. fat free chicken broth
- 1 1/2 c fat free milk
- 2 fresh garlic cloves, crushed

- 1 dry lb. of pasta (a fun shape that can hold cheese, I used rotini)

- 2 Tbsp. fat free greek yogurt
- 1 tsp. kosher salt
- 1/2 tsp. black pepper

- 1 1/4 c. (5 oz.) shredded gruyere cheese
- 1 c. (4 oz.) grated pecorino romano cheese
- 4 Tbsp (1 oz) grated parmigiano reggiano cheese

- cooking spray
- 1/2 c. panko bread crumbs

- 2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley
- Paprika (optional)

Method

Prep:
Peel, de-seed, and cube your squash, crush your garlic, and get your cheese all shredded and grated

1. Combine the squash, chicken broth, milk, and garlic in a sauce pan and bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer until the squash becomes tender (about 20-25 minutes)

- Start a pot of water boiling at this point, put in the pasta when ready
- Preheat the oven to 375 deg.

2. When the squash is done, put the mixture in a blender or food processor, add the yogurt, salt, and pepper. Blend until smooth. (Put the lid on the blender, but remove the center piece so steam can escape. Put a clean kitchen towel or paper towel over the opening to prevent splatter)

3. Transfer the blended squash mixture to a large bowl. It should still be hot at this point. Dump in the gruyere, pecorino romano, and 2 Tbsp. of the parm. reg. cheese. Stir until cheese melts and blends in.

4. Hopefully your pasta is done at this point. Drain it, and combine it in the bowl with the squash/cheese blend. Stir until all the pasta is covered. While you're doing this, spray down a medium frying pan with cooking oil spray, put it on medium heat.

5. Have a 9' x 13' glass baking dish ready, coated w/ cooking oil spray. Pour in the pasta blend.
Go back to the frying pan, and toast the panko bread crumbs. Keep a close eye on this and stir until the crumbs start turning golden brown. Quickly blend in the remaining 2 Tbsp of parm. reg. cheese, and sprinkle over the top of the pasta.

6. Bake the pasta for 25 minutes. When done, sprinkle with the parsley and a dusting of paprika if you like. Serve right away.

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