Thursday, October 7, 2010

Another macaroni and cheese recipe

My family are all big fans of macaroni and cheese.  And ham.  And butternut squash.  What to do?  Combine the three!  I used a recipe from Jessica Seinfeld's book, Deceptively Delicious, as a spring board, although I don't believe in hiding the fact that there are veggies in the food I am serving to my 3-year-old.  She has learned to appreciate the taste of a wide variety of food because we are upfront and enthusiastic about trying them (and she is willing!), not because we trick her into it.  Anyway, I digress...

This recipe was fairly affordable (what's cheaper than macaroni??) and it used up some leftover ham and squash we needed to eat.  The end result was pretty darn great, if I do say so myself.

Servings: Serves 4
Macaroni and Cheese with Butternut Squash and Ham
  • 1 1/2 cups elbow macaroni
  • Nonstick cooking spray
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 cup nonfat skim milk
  • 1/2 cup butternut squash puree (just cut up some squash and steam or boil it until mashable, drain and puree)
  • Leftover ham (about a generous cup), chopped into bite-sized pieces
  • 1 1/2 cups shredded cheese (we had mozzarella, so that's what we used.  Remember that the squash wil make the end result orange anyway, so it doesn't matter if your cheese is white)
  • 4 ounces (almost 1/4 cup) cream cheese (next time I think I might use an herb cream cheese)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch paprika
  • pinch pepper
Here's how easy this recipe is:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, add the macaroni and cook according to package directions until al dente. Drain in a colander.

While the macaroni is cooking, coat a large saucepan with cooking spray and heat over medium heat. Add the oil, then the flour, and cook, stirring constantly, until the mixture resembles a thick paste but has not browned, 1 to 2 minutes.

Add the milk and cook, stirring every now and then, until the mixture begins to thicken, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the vegetable puree, Cheddar, cream cheese and seasonings and stir until the cheese is melted and the sauce is smooth. And ham and stir. Stir in the macaroni and serve warm.

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