Cheesy Butternut Squash Cavatappi Bake

Versatile butternut squash adds creaminess and flavor to this easy macaroni dish, replacing some of the cheese.  The result is a vitamin A-packed dish with less fat than traditional macaroni and cheese, but no sacrifice of taste.

Ingredients:

3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash

8 oz. dried cavatappi or other elbow macaroni

1 Tbsp. butter

8 oz. cremini or button mushrooms, sliced

3 green onions, thinly sliced

2 Tbsp. all-purpose flour

1 cup fat-free milk

6 oz. fontina cheese, shredded (1 1/2 cups)

2 slices reduced sodium bacon, cooked and crumbled (optional)

 

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly coat a 2-qt. rectangular baking dish with non-stick cooking spray; set aside.
  2. In a medium microwave-safe bowl, combine squash and 2 Tbsp. water; cover with vented plastic wrap.  Microwave on high for 4 minutes; stir.  Microwave, covered, about 4 minutes more or until squash is tender. Carefully remove plastic wrap.  Mash squash; set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions; drain.  In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium-high heat.  Add mushrooms and green onions.  Cook until tender, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle flour over mushroom mixture.  Cook and stir for 1 minute.  Add milk and 1/4 tsp. each of salt and pepper.  Cook and stir over medium heat until thickened and bubbly.  Remove from heat; stir in squash.  Add pasta.  Gently fold to combine.
  4. Transfer half of the pasta mixture to the prepared baking dish.  Sprinkle with  half of the cheese.  Add remaining pasta mixture and  cheese.  Top with bacon, if desired.  Bake uncovered, 20 to 25 minutes or until heated through and cheese is melted.  Top with additional green onions.  Makes 6 servings.

Better Homes and Gardens / September 2013 / BHG.com

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