I’m a sucker for cheese.
So it’s a win if I can sneak in some veggies.
This recipe has all the comfort of regular mac and cheese, and while it’s not like it’s diet food, it’s got some nutritional value, right?
At least that’s what I’m telling myself.
For years, Mister BS and I watched True Blood each week with his grandma. I know. It’s a terrible show, but we were hooked, in large part because of Alexander Skarsgård. (I mean come on. Can you blame us?)
Mostly it was an excuse for Sunday night dinner, and it was cheaper for her to add HBO to her cable bill than for us to get it just for one show.
So I tried several Southern-style menus for these special occasions, and this was my favorite recipe.
Even though True Blood is over, we still try to get over to grandma’s for dinner regularly, and this is still one of my favorite comfort food recipes.
Butternut Squash Mac + Cheese
inspired by The Southern Vegetarian Cookbook
5-6 cups cubed butternut squash (peeled, seeded)
6 garlic cloves
2 1/2 cups rotini pasta
2 cups shredded cheese (smoked Gouda, white cheddar, goat)
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
1 tablespoon all-purpose flour
1 cup whole milk
Kosher salt and cracked black pepper (to taste)
Scant 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon sherry vinegar
5 sprigs thyme (stems discarded)
1 cup bread crumbs
2 to 3 tablespoons black truffle oil
Preheat your oven to 350F. Boil water in stock pot. Add squash and garlic cloves for 5 to 7 minutes or until very tender. Retrieve the squash and garlic from the boiling water and add to food processor. Cook the rotini in the same. Drain water from the pasta and set aside.
In a medium pan over medium heat, melt the butter and whisk in the flour. Cook until flour turns slightly brown, but don’t let it burn. Add milk, continue to whisk, turn the heat up to medium high, and boil. When it begins to thicken, stir in the cheese and remove from heat. Add the cheese mixture to the food processor with the squash and add salt, pepper, nutmeg and sherry vinegar. Blend until completely smooth.
Combine in pot of cooked pasta, add the thyme, and mix until well incorporated. Pour into an large casserole dish. Cover with bread crumbs and drizzle with black truffle oil. Bake for 25 minutes and serve hot out of the oven.