Happy Monday, everyone! Jess here.
I was most excited to see broccoli in the share, my kids have been eating it as “trees” since they were small, so it’s an easy sell. Mix it with macaroni and cheese, and it’s a total winner! Toss in an acorn squash and… wait. I’m pushing the envelope a bit, but let’s give it a try. I halved and baked an acorn squash on the side while prepping my macaroni and whatnot.
As with most good things, I started with a chunk of Amish roll butter, melted.
Next I began a roux by stirring in an equal amount of flour, whisking constantly over the heat. Slowly I added in cold milk in a drizzle, ensuring the sauce stayed creamy and didn’t go lumpy from too fast of a pour. I continued to stir until the sauce thickened a little, and added a small finely diced onion. Next, 2 cups of shredded sharp cheddar cheese went into the mix and I stirred until it melted. (There was lots of stirring and adding going on, so you’ll have to take my word for it as I didn’t snap many photos).
I scooped out my cooked and halved acorn squash and pureed it with a little milk. About 1 1/2 cups went in the sauce against the 2 cups of cheese.
No squash here, nothing to see here, just cheesy saucy goodness! (I usually put in enough squash where you just start to notice it, then add a bit more cheese to once again mask it.)
In goes some broccoli to taste. The good news about making this sauce with squash is that you end up with twice as much of it, so you can make extra!
Here is the kid’s version, plain Jane, made with orecchiette, nothing else added.
The grown-up version was made with extra large elbows and spiced up with some red pepper, ground black pepper, dijon mustard, diced jalapeños from the chest freezer and roasted skinned diced poblanos from the swap box.
Full bellies and happy campers all around! I hope you like it, too.
- 3 tablespoons butter
- 3 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1+ cups of cooked acorn (or other) squash puree (see below)
- 2 cups of sharp cheddar cheese, plus extra as needed
- 3 cups \uncooked pasta such as orecchiette or elbow macaroni
- 1 small crown of fresh broccoli florets
- 1 small onion, finely diced.
- grown-up optional ingredients (to taste)
- Diced peppers (I used poblano and jalapeño)
- ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper, or ½ teaspoon Sriracha (or to taste)
- ground pepper to taste
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard (or to taste)
- ¼ cup panko for the topping
- For puree- Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Halve acorn squash and scoop out the seeds. Place squash in baking dish with a tiny layer of water (maybe ¼ inch). Butter if desired and roast for about 40 minutes to an hour until just tender when poked with a fork. Scoop squash out of the skin and puree, adding enough water/milk to allow the blender to work.
- Cook Pasta according to the directions.
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter but do not brown. Whisk in flour over medium heat, stirring constantly until combined.
- Continue to stir and slowly add 2 cups of milk, allowing the sauce to thicken as you stir in the milk. Once the milk is combined and the sauce is thickening, add the onion. Stir in the cheese, followed by the puree to taste. If the squash taste is overpowering, simply add a little more cheese. Stir in broccoli florets once the sauce is to your liking. If using, stir in the other optional "grown-up" ingredients to taste.
- Drain the pasta and pour it into a spayed or greased baking dish (or two), drizzling the sauce mixture on top. Sprinkle with panko if using.
- Bake uncovered at 350 for about 35-50 minutes (if you don't like a crispy crust, keep the macaroni covered in foil until the last 10 minutes of baking), until the macaroni is beginning to bubble and brown slightly. Cool slightly and enjoy!