Macaroni and 4 Cheeses

2005, Ellie Krieger, All Rights Reserved
TOTAL TIME: 43 min
Prep: 20 min
Inactive Prep: --
Cook: 23 min
 
YIELD: 8 servings
LEVEL: Easy

ingredients

  • Cooking spray
  • 1 pound elbow macaroni
  • 2 (10-ounce) packages frozen pureed winter squash
  • 2 cups 1 percent lowfat milk
  • 4 ounces extra-sharp Cheddar, grated (about 1 1/3 cups)
  • 2 ounces Monterrey jack cheese, grated (about 2/3 cup)
  • 1/2 cup part-skim ricotta cheese
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon powdered mustard
  • 1/8 teaspoon cayenne pepper
  • 2 tablespoons unseasoned bread crumbs
  • 2 tablespoons grated Parmesan
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
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Directions

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Coat a 9 by 13-inch baking pan with cooking spray.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the macaroni and cook until tender but firm, about 5 to 8 minutes. Drain and transfer to a large bowl.

Meanwhile, place the frozen squash and milk into a large saucepan and cook over a low heat, stirring occasionally and breaking up the squash with a spoon until it is defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the Cheddar, jack cheese, ricotta cheese, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper. Pour cheese mixture over the macaroni and stir to combine. Transfer the macaroni and cheese to the baking dish.

Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and oil in a small bowl. Sprinkle over the top of the macaroni and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes, then broil for 3 minutes so the top is crisp and nicely browned.

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  • on November 21, 2013

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    I concur with homeluver so the 2nd time I made this I made the following tweaks: OMITTED WINTER SQUASH, upped the Monterey Jack to 3 oz, and SUBSTITUTED the bread crumbs for Italian Seasoning flavored in same amount and Voilá! My dinner was a smashing success and I've had many requests for this recipe. (On a side note though if you DO like the squash I'd advise using the ONE pack as opposed to the two listed as I found this vegetable to mute the other ingredients a bit- no disrespect to its creator of course

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  • on January 25, 2013

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    I made it exactly as written, and it wasn't bad -- but pretty bland. For us, it needs more punch -- maybe onion, garlic, or Italian seasonings. I will make it again, but certainly will add more flavor.

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  • on March 31, 2012

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    We grew up on mac and cheese, my wife says this is the best ever...(better than Mom's....shhhhh To personalize it for her I substitute crushed Ritz crackers on top !.

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