Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Ingredients:

  • ¾ lb. of penne pasta
  • 2 teaspoons of all-purpose flour
  • 2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 cups of grated Fontina cheese
  • 2 ½ cups of whole milk
  • ¾ cup of grated Parmesan cheese
  • ¾ cup of shredded mozzarella cheese
  • Unsalted butter to butter baking dish
  • ½ cup of grated sharp white cheddar cheese
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • ½ cup of butternut squash (pureed)
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage leaves (minced)           

Directions:

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Butter a casserole dish and set aside.

Prep butternut squash but peeling and removing seeds. Cut into small chunks and cook until tender. Drain and puree squash in a food processor until smooth. You can also smash the squash until a smooth consistency.

Cook penne in a large pot of salted water. Pasta should be cooked slightly al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large mixing bowl, combine, flour, butternut squash puree, milk and cream. Wish together until well combined.

Stir in 1 cup of Fontina, ½ cup of Parmesan, ½ cup of mozzarella and ½ cup of cheddar. Add salt and pepper to taste. Add the pasta and toss to coat noodles. Transfer mixture to buttered baking dish.

Mix the remaining 1 cup of Fontina, ¼ cup of Parmesan and ¼ cup of mozzarella in a small bowl. Sprinkle cheese blend on top of noodle mixture.

Bake until sauce bubbles and cheeses melt and starts to turn brown (approximately 18-20min).

Let dish stand for 10-12 minutes before serving.

Makes approximately 6 servings.

 

Recipe Activities for Budding Chefs

  • Have your little chef carefully mix the milk, cream, flour and squash puree. Next, they can help add the cheeses to the mixing bowl.
  • Allow your kitchen helper to remove a few sage leaves from the stem. Let them smell it and describe the scent.
  • Allow them to help measure the milk, flour and cheeses and practice using measuring cups and spoons. Can they identify which is bigger and which is smaller in size?
  • Let your child sprinkle the remaining cheese mixture on top of the mac and cheese before it goes into the oven.
  • For the older kids:
    • Allow your child to help butter the baking dish and set it aside till ready to use
    • Have your child use a cheese grater and grate the Fontina and cheddar cheese
    • With adult supervision, allow your child to mince the sage leaves using a kid-friendly knife
    • Have them help stir the pasta with the other ingredients before it goes into the oven

 

 

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