Pumpkin takes center stage tomorrow, but I would like to make a case for the butternut squash. It has a sweet, nutty taste and can be used in classic recipes or stand alone as a delicious side. I cheat and buy my cubed in the refrigerator cooler in the produce section.
Here are two of my favorites:
1. Creamy, Light Macaroni and Cheese (from Cooking Light)
It is seriously delicious and a great lighter way to serve homemade mac n’ cheese. The kids will never know!
- 3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 [1-pound] squash)
- 1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
- 1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 teaspoon kosher salt
- 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt
- 1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
- 1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
- 1 pound uncooked cavatappi (any short noodle works)
- Cooking spray
- 1 teaspoon olive oil
- 1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
- 1. Preheat oven to 375°.
- 2. Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.
- 3. Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano, and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined.
- 4. Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
- 5. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.
- 6. Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.
2. Pureed Butternut Squash-with a kick (I made the name up!). This is a super, simple but yummy side! Sorry no picture.
- 2 lbs cubed butternut squash
- ¼ c water
- ¼ c onion
- ½ t. thyme
- 1 T. butter
- ¼ tsp Tabasco (or more for taste)