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mom a la mode's Butternut Squash Mac 'n' Cheese

It's hard to believe that Thanksgiving is a mere two weeks away. I couldn't be happier. It's my favorite holiday. How can you not love a day dedicated to food, friends, and family?

Today, my pal Lisa from mom a la mode is sharing one of her favorite Thanksgiving recipes with us. It combines two of my favorites, butternut squash and macaroni and cheese. Hello!

Whether you are looking for a Thanksgiving side dish or a quick comfort meal for a weeknight, this recipe is a keeper. 

Before Lisa takes over, I'd like to thank her for guest posting and sharing this delicious recipes while I'm on vacation. Thanks, Lisa! Be sure to follow Lisa on her social media channels (all of which are listed at the end of this post).

With Thanksgiving fast approaching, you may be scrambling to figure out what you are making (even if this means reservations.)  Whatever the case may be, this easy, cheesy recipe for Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese has been a hit at neighborhood potlucks and on my holiday table.  It’s a mom a la mode original (but is based on a recipe from Wondra Flour — full disclosure!), and is a great accompaniment to your Thanksgiving offerings, or even on its own as a hearty comfort-food dinner on a chilly night.  Enjoy!


Mom a la Mode’s Butternut Squash Mac 'n' Cheese

Ingredients:
2 TBSP Wondra Quick-Mixing Flour
1 cup cold milk
2 TBSP butter
Salt and Pepper for taste
1 lb. fun-shaped pasta (we like shells, cavatappi or rotelle)
1/2 cup shredded sharp cheddar cheese, plus additional 1/2 cup
3 TBSP grated pecorino romano cheese
1/2 cup shredded cheddar jack cheese
cooking spray
Approx 2 cups peeled, cubed butternut squash

Steps:
- Get pasta water going to a nice rolling boil in a medium saucepan. Drop in butternut squash and cook for about 5 minutes or until al dente.  Remove squash and place into a baking dish coated with cooking spray.

- Bring water back to boil and cook pasta just shy of 2 minutes of recommended cooking time. Drain and set aside in colander.

- In pot used to cook pasta, begin to make your cheese sauce, following the Wondra Quick-Mixing Flour directions for a One-Step White Sauce as your guide: stir together the milk, flour, butter, salt and pepper.  Heat to boiling over medium heat, whisking constantly. Boil and stir for about 1 minute. Gradually add in your cheeses and blend with a silicone spatula or spoon still smooth.

- Add your pasta into cheese sauce and stir well, ensuring to coat pasta thoroughly.

- Pour cheese/pasta mixture over the butternut squash in baking dish and blend well with silicone spatula.

- Top with remaining shredded cheddar and bake in pre-heated 350 degree oven for about 10 minutes until cheese is fully melted on top.

Tip:
If cheese sauce mixture seems a bit thick, slowly whisk in some additional milk.

Option:
In place of cheese topping, you can make a quick panko-parmesan crust by mixing 2-3 TBSP of panko breadcrumbs in a bowl with 1 TBSP of melted butter and 2-3 TBSP of parmesan cheese. Mix well and sprinkle over mac n cheese – cook at 425 for about 5 minutes or until panko crust is browned.

{This is an original recipe of Lisa Pisano of Mom a la Mode. Please feel free to share with others, but kindly include credit to Mom a la Mode (http://momalamode.net) if printing, posting via social media, sharing electronically, etc.} 


Lisa Pisano is the Creator & Editorial Director of mom a la mode, where the topics of food, fashion, travel, fun and family life are celebrated.  When she’s not helping her small business clients find their social media North Star, you’ll find her Instagramming from @momalamode, updating her blog’s Facebook fan page and navigating her Google + page. All while keeping up with her pre-school aged son…

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