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Recipe of the Month

Butternut Mac & Cheese

butternut mac and cheese
1 medium to large butternut squash (1.5 pounds or larger), halved
1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1 teaspoon garlic powder
1 teaspoon onion powder
1 pound short-cut pasta (pipe regate, macaroni noodles, casarecce, cavatelli, fusilli)
5 cups water
1 teaspoon fine salt, to taste
4 ounces cream cheese, cubed
8 ounces shredded sharp cheddar cheese
½ cup (2 ounces) finely grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving

1. To roast the squash: Preheat the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper for easy clean-up. Scoop out the squash seeds with a spoon (we won’t need them for this recipe). Rub the olive oil over the cut sides of butternut, then place them on the prepared pan, flat sides down.
2. Bake until the squash flesh is easily pierced through with a fork, about 40 to 60 minutes. Once it’s cool enough to handle, peel off the skin and discard it. Use a potato masher to mash up the squash—don’t worry about getting it perfectly smooth. You’ll need about 2 cups mashed squash for this recipe (you’ll likely have plenty extra, which you can freeze for future mac and cheese). Set aside, refrigerate and/or freeze the squash until ready to use.
3. To prepare the mac and cheese: Melt the butter in a large pot or Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the garlic and onion powder and cook for 2 to 4 minutes, stirring often, until the butter is fragrant and you see little brown flecks forming in the pan. Add the dry pasta and gently toss to coat it in butter.
4. Pour in the water and salt. Add 2 cups of the mashed butternut squash. Cover the pot and bring it to a boil over high heat. Once boiling, remove the lid and set the timer for 8 minutes.
5. Cook, stirring occasionally, until the timer goes off. Do not drain the water. Stir in the cream cheese. Cook until the cream cheese has melted and the pasta is al dente (careful when you taste, it’s quite hot), about 4 to 5 more minutes. Turn down the heat as necessary to avoid scorching but maintain a steady simmer.
6. Reduce the heat to low. Add the cheddar and Parmesan, and stir until the mixture is melted and creamy. Remove the pot from the heat.
7. Season with salt, to taste (I usually add ¼ teaspoon more). Serve the pasta in bowls with extra Parmesan grated on top, if desired. Leftovers keep well, covered and refrigerated, for up to 5 days.

(Source: Cookie and Kate)

Mashed Maple Squash

mashed maple squash
1 large butternut squash or 2 small butternut or honeynut squash
4 Tbsp butter divided
4 Tbsp pure maple syrup divided
A pinch of salt

1. Preheat oven to 350°F (175°C).
2. Cut the ends off the the squash then cut it in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and place the squash on a baking sheet cut side up.
3. Spread one tablespoon of softened butter on each cut side of the squash, then put one tablespoon of maple syrup into each cavity where the seeds were.
4. Roast the squash for about an hour or until the flesh is very soft when pierced with a knife or fork.
5. Take the roasted squash out of the oven and let it cool for 15-20 minutes or until it can be handled without being too hot.
6. Once the squash is cool enough, scoop out the flesh with a spoon into a bowl. Add two tablespoons of butter, two tablespoons of maple syrup, and a pinch salt and mash everything together with a fork until the squash is creamy and there are no lumps.
7. Serve the mashed butternut squash in a bowl with a pat of butter and more maple syrup drizzled over the top.

(Source: Grow Forage Cook Ferment)
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