- 1/2 box Hodgson Mill Whole Wheat Elbow Macaroni, 1/2 pound
- 1 1/2 cup butternut squash, 1 small squash, roasted
- 2 Tbsp vegetable oil, for roasting squash, can also use grapeseed or canola
- 1 1/4 cup milk
- 1 cup yogurt, plain Greek or regular
- 2 Tbsp butter
- 2 Tbsp Hodgson Mill All Purpose White Flour
- 1 cup Parmesan cheese, shredded
- 1 1/4 cup sharp cheddar cheese, grated, 6 oz
- 1 tsp salt
- 1/2 tsp pepper
- 1/4 tsp sage, dried
- 1/2 tsp paprika
- 1/4-1 cup water, reserved pasta water, amount will vary
- 1/2-3/4 cup chopped nuts, optional, toasted walnuts, pecans or hazelnuts
- 1/4-1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, optional
- 1/2-1 cup cherry tomatoes, optional
- sprinkle parsley, fresh, chopped, optional
Cut butternut squash in half and scoop out seeds and strings. Spear several times with a fork, and coat entire squash (outside skin and open faces) lightly with vegetable oil. Roast at 400°F for 45 minutes, or until easily speared with a fork. Allow to cool.
Put salted water for pasta on stovetop to boil. When at a rolling boil, add elbows and cook 7 minutes, stirring occasionally. Drain, reserving 1 cup pasta water for sauce, just in case (You probably won’t need quite that much.). Don’t rinse pasta; return to pan or bowl and keep covered and warm.
Scoop out cooled butternut squash. Measure out 1 ½ cups of cooked squash, and using a mixer, blend this with 1 cup Greek yogurt and spices (salt, pepper, paprika, sage) until smooth.
In a large skillet over medium-low heat, melt butter, then add flour and stir until thick, bubbling, and browned. It will smell baked, like buttery bread. Turn heat to low. Slowly add milk, stirring until it’s combined and smooth. (Use a whisk if it won’t hurt your pan, but use a wooden or plastic spoon if your pan is nonstick). Bring to a simmer and keep stirring until it thickens. Lumps should go away as long as you keep stirring as it thickens.
Add grated cheese and stir until completely melted and bubbling. Then add butternut squash/yogurt mixture and cook until all is smooth and bubbling. Mixture will be thick. Add pasta water if needed to thin it down. Start with ¼ cup, and add more if mixture is too thick to pour.
Add cheese and squash mixture to elbows and stir until coated. Add more pasta water if needed to help cheese sauce coat the noodles.
Serve hot. Topping suggestions: extra grated parmesan cheese, fresh parsley, toasted walnuts, flavorful grape or cherry tomatoes.
Gluten-free option: Use Hodgson Mill Gluten-Free Brown Rice Elbows, and replace flour with Hodgson Mill Gluten-free Seasoned Coating Mix.
Notes: Keeps for up to 3 days in sealed container in fridge. Makes great left-overs. Heat in microwave or in pan over very low heat, stirring constantly.
Makes 6-8 servings
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