Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
- 2 tbsp olive oil or butter
- 12 fresh sage leaves optional
- 3 large cloves garlic minced
- 1 pound butternut squash diced
- 1 1/2 cups vegetable stock or chicken stock
- 1 pound uncooked whole grain pasta shells, spirals, etc.
- 2 cups low-fat milk
- 8 ounces sharp cheddar cheese shredded
- fine salt and freshly-cracked black pepper to taste
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil.
- Heat oil in a separate sauté pan, add the sage leaves (if using) and sauté for 1-2 minutes until crispy. Transfer the sage leaves to a separate plate and set aside.
- Add garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Then add in butternut squash and stock and stir to combine. Continue cooking until stock reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is tender and mashes easily with a fork.
- Transfer squash mixture to a blender. Add in milk and give mixture a quick stir. Then very carefully pulse mixture until smooth, releasing air pressure as needed.
- Add pasta to boiling water and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Reserve 1 cup of starchy pasta water for later. Then drain pasta.
- Return butternut squash mixture back to sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add in cheese, and stir until it has melted into sauce.
- Taste and season sauce with salt and pepper as needed.
- Once pasta is drained, return it to stockpot. Pour butternut cheese sauce on top of pasta, and toss to combine. If sauce is too thick, add in some of the hot starchy pasta water to thin it out.
- Serve warm, and garnish with crispy sage leaves if desired.