S is for Shells & Squash

s-is-for-shells-and-squash

I hope everyone had a nice Thanksgiving eating all the good foods and spending time with their families! I enjoyed joining my family in the kitchen and cooking a meal that was meant for way more than one person 🙂 As I cannot get enough of comfort food and do not think it should be reserved for one day a year, I bring you squash and shells for the letter S!

This recipe plays off of your basic macaroni and cheese and elevates it with squash and of course bacon! The blended squash lends a creaminess to the cheese sauce and gives it a lovely pop of color. Butternut squash is also a great source of vitamin A and potassium so step aside boxed macaroni and cheese, there’s new dish in town!

Ingredients

  • 1 cup medium pasta shells, uncooked
  • 1 ½ cups cubed butternut squash (many grocery stores sell this pre-cubed that can be cooked directly in the package which helps save on prep time)
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • ¼ cup vegetable broth
  • 6 tablespoons whole milk
  • ½ cup and 2 tablespoons sharp cheddar cheese
  • ½ teaspoon paprika
  • ⅛ teaspoon spicy brown mustard (dijon mustard can be used as a substitute)
  • 2 slices cooked bacon, diced (I store bacon in the freezer separated between layers of parchment paper to allow for the ease of adding a slice or two to a recipe)
  • Salt and pepper
  • Fresh parsley for garnish

Prepping the Dish

  • Depending on the form that you purchased your butternut squash in, there will be two different routes of prep you can take:
  • If you purchased pre-cubed squash that can be steamed directly in the package, cook the squash according to the directions on the package.
  • If you purchased a whole butternut squash, peel, remove the seeds and cube the squash. You will then need to boil the squash until tender.
  • While the squash is cooking, cook your pasta according to the instructions on the package.
  • Drain the pasta and set aside in a bowl.
  • Using the heated pot that the pasta was cooked in, melt the butter; turn the stove on low heat if additional heat is needed to melt the butter completely.
  • Add the cooked squash, melted butter, dash of salt and pepper, vegetable broth, paprika, milk and mustard to your blender or food processor. Blend until smooth.
  • Put the noodles back into the pot and pour in the butternut squash sauce.
  • Add the cheese and diced bacon and stir until the cheese has been fully encorporated and melted throughout.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Garnish with parsely and dig in!

Recipe heavily inspired from The Recipe Critic

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