Butternut Squash Mac 'n' Cheese
This recipe was prepared in Rachael's Loft -- our home away from home in the heart of downtown NYC -- click here for more recipes and entertaining tips from Rachael's Loft!
- 2 pounds macaroni with lines, such as elbows
- 2 tablespoons EVOO – Extra Virgin Olive Oil
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 medium onion, grated
- 6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
- 1 quart chicken stock
- 2 10-ounce boxes frozen, cooked butternut squash, defrosted
- 4 cups (8 ounces) sharp cheddar, grated
- 2 cups heavy cream or half-n-half
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water then add the pasta and cook to al dente.
While the pasta cooks, heat a medium-size, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, and butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the thyme and grate the onion directly into the pot with a hand-held grater or microplane. Cook the grated onion 1-2 minutes, then add flour and cook together 1-2 more minutes. Whisk in stock, then combine with butternut squash until warmed through and smooth. Stir in cream or half-and-half and bring sauce to a bubble. Stir in cheeses in a figure-8 motion and season the completed sauce with salt, nutmeg and pepper. Taste to adjust seasonings.
Drain cooked pasta well and combine with sauce.
Preheat oven to 375°F. Put half of the mixture into small ramekins or muffins tins and bake for 20 minutes.
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