A macaroni and cheese recipe should be rich and gooey, and just a little bit bad for you. This version is an interpretation of classic comfort food which adds rosemary, sweet winter squash and some mustard for balance. The result is ever bit as gooey and rich as you could desire with an added bonus of a few extra nutrients—but still a little bit bad for you.
This mac and cheese does require a bit of prep because you have to roast the squash. I actually roasted it the night before so I was able to make this on a weeknight; all I had to do was cook the pasta and make the roux. I have also learned to make the sauce in an oven safe stove top casserole or dutch oven. One less pan to wash.
If you are looking for something less indulgent, I have made a healthier butternut squash mac and cheese recipe previously. It is also delicious but quite a bit lighter. I do find that of all the whole wheat pastas I actually quite like macaroni especially in a baked dish like this as it really holds its shape.
Squash and Rosemary Macaroni and Cheese(serves 6)
First cook the squash. Preheat oven to 400F. Cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Place squash cut side down in a baking dish and bake until really tender. ( I used a buttercup and it took about 45 minutes, feel free to do this the night before.)
Remove from oven and let cool until you can scoop flesh out and mash with a fork. In a microwave safe dish heat milk with two large sprigs of Rosemary until piping hot but not boiling. Set aside.
Set oven to 350F. Bring a pot of salted water to a boil and cook macaroni, drain when al dente. Meanwhile heat a heavy oven safe saucepan or dutch oven to medium low and add butter. Melt butter and whisk in flour. Cook for three minutes, whisking continuously. Remove rosemary from milk and slowly whisk milk into roux (that's your butter and flour!). Chop a tablespoon of rosemary and stir in rosemary, than 2 cups of cheese, mustard and finally squash. Season and correct flavours with salt and pepper. Stir in macaroni, top with remaining cheese and bake for 20 minutes. Turn on broiler and broil for 2 minutes or until nicely browned on top. Let cool for 5 minutes before serving.