Butternut Squash Macaroni and Cheese

If you’re a regular reader of this blog, then you know I absolutely love pasta and in particular macaroni and cheese with my whole entire being (for lack of a better term). If you don’t believe me, you can read about it here, here, here, here, or here. And as much as I hate to admit that a good-old-boxed mac with powdered cheese is my go-to guilty pleasure, sometimes you just need to class (and health) it up a bit. Enter the beautiful gourd that is butternut squash. This veggie is super tasty on it’s own but is also easy to match with pretty much any flavor profile. Sweet, savory, you name it and butternut goes. So why not blend it up and add a little nutritional value to carbs and cheese? Plus it’s already the right color, so why not.

Ingredients
1 butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into small cubes
1 cup chicken broth
1 cup skim milk
1 lb rigatoni pasta
3 tbsp butter
2 tsp onion powder
1 tbsp garlic powder
salt & pepper, to taste
6 oz goat cheese
8 oz Gouda cheese, shredded

MTC-8016, or other cooker with the Saute Then Simmer or Steam feature
Blender
6 servings
Prep Time: 10 minutes
Cook Time: 30 minutes

Directions
Set your cooker for STS and add the cubed squash; if your cooker does not has STS, you can use the Steam function to reach a high heat and begin cooking the squash. Cook for about 5 minutes  until the squash starts to soften, then add the milk and broth. Close the lid and allow to cook for about 15 minutes until the squash is tender and easily poked with a fork. Make sure the lid is set for VENTING while it’s covered.

Once the squash is done. Carefully scoop the squash mixture out of the cooker and into a blender, making sure to get all of the liquid. Blend the mixture until it is smooth. Wipe clean the inner pot and return it to the cooker.

Meanwhile, either cook the pasta according to package directions on the stove OR you can do it in your rice cooker. Simply add the needed amount of water, press either the STS or Steam button to bring it to a boil. Add your pasta, stir, and cook uncovered according to package instructions until done. Whether the pasta is cooked on the stove or in the cooker, strain when it is done and set aside.

Once the pasta is done, set the cooker for STS or Steam again and add the butter. Allow it to melt and then add the blended squash mixture, goat cheese, and seasonings. Stir and cook until the goat cheese is melted. Add the Gouda and pasta and gently stir until it is all combined. Scoop into bowls and top with some extra cracked black pepper and parsley if desired. Enjoy!

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