Wednesday, November 14, 2012

the best thing i've made in awhile?

oh, hello you. i'd like to share an excellent winter invention. a delightful treat. comfort food at its very best. it's bit haphazard and wild, but the good news is that there is tons of flexibility in terms of what you have on hand. i hope that everyone makes this because really, since i finished up all the leftovers, i've been dreaming of having more of it.

buttercup squash mac & cheese

you need:
1 bag (regular size?) of any kind of pasta that you like (i mixed farro spirals and regular old elbow mac)
2 cups vegetable broth
1 medium sized buttercup squash
breadcrumbs
3 cups grated cheese (i used smoked cheddar, gouda, and regular cheddar)
milk of choice
spoon of butter

1. slice the squash in half and remove the seeds. roast it in the oven on an oiled pan, face down, at 375 until quite soft (30 minutes, ish). OR you could roast this (as i did) in cubes (peeled, etc) with some sea salt and either sage or thyme. YUM.

2. while the squash is roasting, grate up all of your cheese and boil whatever pasta you've selected. cook til nearly your desired softness, but NOT QUITE! since you will be putting it back in the oven in a little bit. when the pasta is cooked enough, strain and run cold water so that the cooking process is paused.

3. when the squash is done, scoop out the gooey insides into a pot (maybe even the pasta pot that you were using but strained the pasta out of). with an immersion blender, turn the squash into a silky sauce by also adding some of the vegetable broth (saving about a cup for later) and the butter. when this gets a bit silky, add the cooked pasta, and the grated cheese (saving about half a cup of the cheese). add the rest of the broth, and milk. add as much as you need to loosen up the sauce a little, as it will be quite thick because of the squash. i probably added about a cup.

4. when all is combined, scoop out your delicious mixture into a large pyrex. top with the remaining cheese and sprinkle with bread crumbs.

5. bake at 350 for about 10 minutes. then stick your broiler on so that the top gets browned, but watch closely so that it doesn't burn.

TA-DA!
Enjoy this with a side of sauteed collards with garlic, and a bit of hot sauce.