Squash is so amazeballs. Can I use the word ‘amazeballs’ on this blog? I did so I guess I can.
Squash is totally incredible and totally in season and totally in vogue. In short, it’s totally amazeballs. Totally.
Honestly, it’s rough to cut, but I think it’s worth the potential finger injury (and/or traumatic amputation).
I also like squash because it’s one of those words that doesn’t require any additional letters when using the plural form. Andrea eats squash. Andrea ate 3 squash. See? Amazeballs! Did I mention I like moose too?
This recipe is oh-so-wonderful because it’s plain old mac n’ cheese made more glorious with the addition of squash and kale. I just realized kale is also amazeballs because it doesn’t need an ‘s’ to pluralize either. This day couldn’t get better.
Back to the dish:
Squash. Cheese. Kale. Noodles. Breadcrumbs. All melty, cheesy, delicousy, amazeball goodness that will turn your dinner into the most
amazing amazeballs dinner.
And, just to let you know, I will never use the word ‘amazeballs’ on the blog again. I swear.
1 small butternut squash, cut into 1/2″ pieces
1/2 small onion, diced finely
2T olive oil
4T all-purpose flour
2 1/2C milk*
8oz sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
6oz gruyere cheese, shredded
2C kale, stems removed and torn into bite-sized pieces
1/2C whole wheat bread crumbs (or panko)
coconut bacon for topping (optional)
Preheat oven to 400. Spray large oven-safe dish (or 9×13) with no-stick spray.
Heat a skillet over medium heat. Add olive oil. Heat. Add butternut squash and onion. Cook until soft and cooked through. Once cooked through, remove from heat. Use a potato masher (or fork) to smash the mixture. If you want a completely smooth mix, break out the food processor. Personally, I liked it with a little chunk.
While the squash is cooking, cook the pasta. You want the pasta to be al dente so be sure to cook it a minute or two less than the box suggests. About 1 minute before you plan to strain your pasta, toss the kale into the boiling pasta water. When pasta is done, strain (pasta-kale mixture) and set aside.
In a saucepan, melt butter. Once melted, whisk flour in — ie make a rue. Cook over heat, stirring constantly for about 1 minute. Now, slowly add in milk while whisking constantly.
Allow sauce to come to a simmer (don’t boil!), stirring frequently. Once the sauce is thickened, stir in cheddar and gruyere cheese. Add pepper and salt if needed.
In a large bowl, combine pasta-kale, butternut squash, and cheese sauce. Stir until combined. Pour into the prepared dish. Top with breadcrumbs (if desired).
Bake at 400 for 20 minutes. Top with coconut-bacon if desired and serve.
(Coconut bacon softens so it is best to add it only to be portions you are serving)