Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

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I was born into a family of white wine-drinking cheese lovers. However, the gene seems to have skipped me, and I got the dark-chocolate-and-red-wine tooth. It wasn’t until I went to Italy in 2010 for a masters course on the Mediterranean diet (best 6 credits ever) that I realized I actually do like cheese—I’m just picky.

Still, I grew up eating boxed macaroni & cheese, which barely counts.I consider Kraft’s iconic orange cheese sauce to be more of a “cheese-like” product. However, that’s what my taste buds think of when it comes to mac & cheese–bright orange, salty soup with limp pasta. Consider it some kind of inverse mac & cheese snobbery. I don’t care if you dress it up in truffle salt or add lobster and baby peas and charge twenty bucks—I’d still choose the blue box.

When I was working on articles about healthy recipes for kids last fall, I came across a few recipes for  macaroni and cheese made with pureed butternut squash, which gives the sauce that vibrant orange color while stealthily adding a lot of nutrients. I was intrigued, but never got around to making it myself. My mac & cheese cravings are rare, but one of my goals for this winter was to try some new recipes, since I have the time, and this was near the top of the list. Read the rest of this entry »