Thanksgiving Comfort Food - Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Prep 15 minutes

Cook 5 minutes

Total 20 minutes

Servings: 6 or 8-10 as a side dish

Ingredients

1 pound macaroni with lines, such as tubatini or mini penne rigate

Salt

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, 1 turn of the pan

2 tablespoons butter

1/2 medium onion

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves, plus a few sprigs for garnish

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

2 cups chicken stock

1 (10 ounce) box frozen cooked butter nut squash, defrosted or fresh squash cook until soft

1 cup cream or half-and-half

2 cups (8 ounces) sharp Cheddar, grated

1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano, a couple of handfuls

1/4 teaspoon ground nutmeg, eyeball it

Black pepper

Directions

1. Heat a pot of water to boil for the pasta. Salt the water then add the pasta and cook to al dente or, with a bite to it.

2. While pasta cooks, heat a medium heavy bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the extra-virgin olive oil and butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the thyme and grate the onion directly into the pot with a hand held grater. Cook the grated onion in butter and oil 1 to 2 minutes, then add flour and cook together 1 to 2 more minutes. Whisk in stock, then combine with butternut squash until warmed through and smooth. Stir in cream or half-and-half and bring sauce to a bubble. Stir in cheeses in a figure 8 motion and season the completed sauce with salt, nutmeg and pepper. Taste to adjust seasonings.

3. Drain cooked pasta well and combine with sauce. To give the pasta a little more crunch, sprinkle more cheddar cheese on top and broil for 3-4 minutes.

mary van hielFood, Love