Saturday, October 5, 2013

Cheesy Butternut Squash Cavatappi Bake

I'm starting to fall way behind on my recipes!  I have quite the backlog.  That's what happens when you've been sick with a bad cold for over 2 weeks, and then you spend a weekend at the Cape for a wedding, and then you have a week where you have to stay at work till 8:00 twice, and then you spend Friday night celebrating the fact that your fiance just passed his last MTEL!!!!!  Sorry, we're just a little excited :)  Anyway I will make up for my backlog this weekend, and it starts here with cheesy butternut squash cavatappi bake.

I've made mac and cheese with butternut squash before, and it's amazing.  Creamy and decadent without being bad for you.  So when I saw this recipe in my mom's Better Homes and Gardens magazine last month,  I was pumped.  I decided to give it a shot the night we had Anne and Kate over for dinner.  I made bread too, but that will have to wait till the next post!

This dish is just as great as we thought it would be.  I couldn't find cavatappi pasta, but I bought rotini instead.  My sisters obviously complained about the mushrooms, but I thought it added another layer of flavor (not to mention more vegetables!).  The cheese sauce is made from fontina, which is such a great cheese, fat-free milk, and only a tablespoon of butter.  Green onions and bacon finish off the dish (and okay I'll admit to leaving out the bacon; it wasn't needed).

I doubled it and made a huge casserole dish of it, and throughout the rest of the week, Mom and I devoured it.  Luckily due to the mushrooms, no one else fought us over the leftovers.  That night, besides the sisters complaining, Anne and Kate loved it, so you definitely are going to want to make sure that you make this dish if you love macaroni and cheese (and mushrooms).


cheesy butternut squash cavatappi bake
from Better Homes and Gardens September 2013
yield 6 servings
334 calories; 12 grams fat

3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
8 ounces dried cavatappi or other elbow pasta
1 tablespoon butter
8 ounces cremini or button mushrooms
3 green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 cup fat-free milk
6 ounces  fontina cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)
2 slices reduced-sodium bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)


1) Preheat oven to 375 degrees.  Lightly coat a 2-quart rectangular baking dish with nonstick cooking spray; set aside.

2)  In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine squash and 2 tablespoons water; cover with vented plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes; stir.  Microwave, covered, about 4 minutes more or until squash is tender.  Carefully remove plastic wrap.  Mash squash; set aside.

3) Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms and green onions.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes.  Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture.  Cook and stir for 1 minute.  Add milk and 1/4 teaspoon each of salt and pepper.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Remove from heat; stir in squash.  Add pasta.  Gently fold to combine.

4) Transfer half of the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with half of the cheese.  Add remaining pasta mixture and cheese.  Top with bacon, if desired.  Bake, uncovered, 20-25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.  Top with additional green onions.

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