If you haven’t already known m&c (mac and cheese), is by far my favorite ‘junk’ food. Yes pizza is delicious but a bowl of m&c truly knows how to hit the spot. I would eat it weekly if it were a healthy meal option. Of course I don’t hesitate to indulge in some delicious Annie’s m&c, but for some time I have tried to figure out a meal that is healthier, tastes just as good, and satisfies my love for m&c just the same. And I must say I definitely succeeded here! We enjoyed this meal with some family and everyone gave it a good report. I added turkey bacon and this was a crucial ingredient, so all you vegetarians, if you recreate this definitely use some sort of seasoned fake meat. This meal fed 5..
- Squash, peeled, deseeded, and cubed (I used two, both local, Butternut from the store and Tahitian from our yard!!!)
- Onion, chopped
- Garlic, minced
- Turkey Bacon, chopped
- Pasta, I used quinoa elbows and brown rice elbows (they only had 1 box of quinoa pasta)
- Cordobes Cheese, 3 oz.
- Red Pepper Flakes, 1/4 t
- Water, ~3/4 c
For the pasta I wanted all quinoa but they only had one box. The rice pasta sufficed just fine, but the quinoa has a better texture and taste, to me anyway.
For the cheese I bought a small chunk of Cordobes from Whole Foods. If I’m correct this cheese is made specifically for Whole Foods, which bothers me in some ways, but not enough to not buy it. It’s flavor is similar to pecorino romano, but maybe a bit more pungent, but not as strong as parmesan. For me this cheese was awesome!!! I grated it with a microplane so it dissolved right into the dish adding a subtle saltiness without any overpowering bites.
1. In a large sauté pan melt 1 T or so of butter. Add the onion and garlic; cook for 5 minutes.
2. Next add the turkey bacon. Mix well and cook for 2 minutes or so.
3. Add the cubed squash, s&p, red pepper flakes, and water. Cover and simmer until the squash is tender, this can be anywhere from 8-15 minutes depending on how much squash you are cooking. If you are me this is when you forget to take pictures and forget that you are cooking dinner. So I went back into the kitchen probably 20 minutes after I covered the pan and my squash was super super tender and of course a bit too liquidy. No worries though this is an easy fix…
4. Once squash is tender remove lid and mash the squash. I did this right in the pan with a potato masher. And since mine was a bit waterey I left it to simmer on low, uncovered, to cook off the liquid. Once liquid is cooked off grate the cheese into the pan and mix well. Taste test and adjust seasoning if necessary.
5. Meanwhile pasta should be cooking. Once cooked rinse if needed and add to the squash. Mix well and allow to heat through.
6. Serve. And in trying to come up with a name for this meal I decided S&M&C (squash and mac and cheese).