The snow was coming down all day, we have a record for the most snow in February, and I was in the mood to make a delicious batch of homemade mac and cheese. Something warm and comforting other than soup. Rather than make a typical mac and cheese dish I wanted to add something to make it less cheesy and a bit more healthy. My thoughts immediately went to delicata squash. Creamy and sweet! I made a double batch so I could freeze half and used 8oz of cheese for the entire thing (plus a bit of pecorino romano). I baked off the squash and mashed it a bit before adding it to the cheese sauce which gave it extra bulk and creaminess. The flavor was delicious. I decided to use quinoa elbows for my macaroni and this may have been a mistake for the frozen batch. I way undercooked them but they were still a bit of the soft side once baked. I knew rice pasta would 100% turn to mush but I wanted to try my chances with the quinoa pasta. In the end it’ll taste good though so I’m not too worried about it.
Delicata M&C (makes 2 9×9 casserole dishes)
- 2 8oz boxes quinoa elbows, undercooked and rinsed
- 2 tablespoons butter, plus a bit more
- 2 tablespoons spelt four
- 3 1/2 cups milk
- 8 oz cheese grated (I used half mozzarella and half sharp white cheddar)
- pecorino romano
- 3 small delicata squash
- 1 cup frozen peas, defrosted
- white pepper
- Bake squash in a 350º oven. Once cooled scoop out flesh and lightly mash.
- In a pot melt the butter over medium heat. Add the flour and mix well.
- Lower heat to medium-low and add the milk while whisking. Continue to whisk and add the grated cheese one third at a time making sure it has fully melted before adding the next batch.
- Lastly add in some fresh grated pecorino romano, s&p, peas, and squash. Mix well.
- Place cooked and rinsed noodles in buttered casserole dishes and top with cheese/squash sauce.
- Cover and bake in a 350º oven for 20 minutes or longer until warm and bubbling at the sides.