As I mentioned here, I went on a major pasta binge recently.
G and I had pasta ALL of our lunch and dinner last week, I think he’d explode if he saw another noodle dish in this lifetime. After the 13th of the 14 meals, the poor guy rushed to the store and brought home a twenty-pound bag of rice as a desperate attempt to distract me from my current fancy.
Don’t get me wrong. He did enjoy all my meaty, saucy or cheesy pasta concoctions. His polished plate and requests for seconds tell the true story. I guess, it was just too much of a good thing.
The last one in our long succession of pasta dishes was this one-pan butternut squash macaroni and cheese. I adapted the recipe from a Cooking Light magazine and the firm-to-bite macaroni generously slathered in a creamy butternut squash sauce proved to be a wonderful welcome to Fall. Noodles + sauce alone would have been enough for one fantastic meal but no, we don’t stop there! We add crisp broccoli florets and bacon crumbles for another layer of yum. Enjoy!
- 4 slices bacon, chopped
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 3 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
- 2 cups chicken stock
- 1½ cups heavy cream
- 1 (10 ounces) package butternut squash puree
- ¼ teaspoon nutmeg, grated
- 1 (10 ounces) package uncooked elbow macaroni
- 2 cups broccoli florets
- ½ teaspoon salt
- ½ teaspoon pepper
- 2 cups sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
- In a large skillet over medium heat, add bacon. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 3 to 4 minutes until crisp. With a slotted spoon, remove bacon and drain on paper towels. Remove excess drippings except 2 tablespoons. Add onions. Cook, stirring regularly, for about 3 to 5 minutes or until soft and golden. Add garlic and cook for about 30 to 40 seconds or until aromatic.
- Add chicken stock, milk, heavy cream and squash. Add nutmeg and stir to combine. Bring to a bubble, stirring occasionally.
- Add pasta. Lower heat, cover and cook for about 4 to 6 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add broccoli and stir to combine. Cover and cook for about 3 to 5 minutes or until vegetable is tender yet crisp, pasta is al dente and sauce is thickened.
- Season with salt and pepper to taste. Add cheese and bacon. Stir until combined and cheese is melted. Serve hot.