Zacaroni and Cheese

This version of  mac & cheese is bursting with veggies making it a healthy entree or side for any day of the week.  Vitamin C+ (2)Disclosure: I am a member of the Cabot Cheese Board and I have received free Cabot product as mentioned in this post. I was not expected to write a post and  I was not compensated for my time. Opinions are my own.

Have you ever wondered what’s on page 54 in your favorite cookbook? Well, neither have I, until the Recipe Redux challenged us with this party game. Yes, I did say party, because we’re celebrating the fifty-forth month anniversary of the Recipe Redux! Whoot! Whoot! Our challenge is to recreate a recipe on page 54 or 154  from our nearest cookbook. So I cracked open an old  favorite, gifted to me by my son for Christmas when he was in middle school…IMG_2724(I have always loved this book, especially the wine pairings suggested for each recipe.) Here’s what I found on page 54: IMG_2723 This recipe is actually a divine rendition of macaroni and cheese. Fonduta is made with fontina cheese, milk , egg yolks and butter. Hmm, sounds like a  perfect candidate for a redux!

My lighter version begins with a sauce made with chicken broth, skim milk, butterkin squash (you can use butternut squash , butterkin is a variety of this squash) , and Cabot’s White Oak Cheddar. I combined this sauce  with pasta and zucchini, just as in the original recipe, and why I named it zacaroni & cheese. It gets a finishing touch with with parsely and  panko seasoned with cinnamon and nutmeg. Here is   the finished product just as it  came out of the oven…IMG_3358
IMG_3367In keeping with my favorite part of  Food & Wine Magazine’s Quick from Scratch Italian Cookbook,  I am going to suggest one of two spirits for enjoying with my zacaroni  & cheese, both Cabot’s wine pick for pairing with White Oak Cheddar: Moscato or  Syrah. Enjoy!

Zacaroni and Cheese

serves 8

by Diane Boyd

Ingredients

  • 3 cups butterkin or butternut squash, peeled and diced
  • 1 1/4 cup reduced sodium chicken broth
  • 1 1/2 cup skim milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
  • 3 cups Cabot white oak cheedar, shredded
  • 1 /2 pound uncooked elbow macarroni
  • 1 pound zucchini, sliced into matchsticks
  • cooking spray
  • 1 teaspoon olive oil
  • 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
  • 1/8 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

Instructions

1.preheat oven to 375 degrees F.

2. Combine squash , broth, and milk in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium -high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.

2.  Add salt and pepper. Use an immersion blender to puree squash mixture or add hot squash mixute to a blender, securing blender lid on blender and removing center piece of lid to allow steam to escape. Place a clean towel over opening to avoid splatters. Blend until smooth. Place blended squash in a bowl ; stir in White Oak Cheddar.

3. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain well . Add pasta and zucchini to cheese mixture. Spread mixture evenly into  a 13 x 9 glass baking dish coated with cooking spray.

4. Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, cinnamon and nutmeg and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat. Sprinkle over hot pasta. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.

5. Bake for  25 min at 375 degrees or until bubbly. Spinkle with parsley and serve immediately.

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