For Z’s birthday, I asked what she wanted served at her birthday tea party. She INSTANTLY replied “Mac & Cheese with squash”. What?? Ummm…okay…so…I figured if she’s asking for it, why not go whole hog?
We had recently gone to a PYO Snap Pea place and purchased 3 beautiful baby squash, so I figured this is where part of the request was coming from.
It was pretty easy, despite the heat, to make this dish. And let’s be honest, there’s really nothing better than making your own macaroni and cheese. It just doesn’t compare to anything you can buy or get out of a box.
This is what you’ll need;
1 lb shaped pasta (we used elbows)
2 tbsp olive oil, divided
3 small squash or 1 1/2 large, sliced thin or bite sized
4 tbsp butter + 1 tbsp
8 oz sharp cheddar cheese
8 oz colby cheese
2 oz pepper jack
2 oz parmesean cheese
2 oz mozzerella
4 cups milk (I used 2%)
1/4 cup flour
1/4 tea nutmeg
1/4 tea dried sage
2 cloves of garlic, minced
(In my adult mac and cheese I added 1 diced poblano pepper in adobo sauce)
Start your pasta water. Bring it to a boil and follow al dente instructions. Drain and set aside.
In the meantime, saute your squash and garlic with 1 tbsp olive oil until the squash is tender and the middles are slightly translucent (about 3-5 minutes).
Rub down your baking dishes with 1 tbsp butter. I used a rectangular pyrex for the adults and 3 small loaf pans for the girls.
Grate all the cheese. Combine and cover with plastic wrap. Place in the fridge until you’re ready to use.
In a large, deep saute pan, make a rue. This is done by melting butter and then adding the flour. Whisk like mad until you have a sticky gloopy mess that is slightly yellow brown in color. Now slowly add the milk, in 1/2 cup intervals and whisking until the rue is incorporated each time. Now add your spices and whisk. Slowly add your cheese, about 1/4 cup at a time whisking until each batch is melted. When this is completed you should have a very thick cheese sauce.
Add your pasta and stir until all of the pasta is covered in the delightful sauce. I first added this mixture to the girls pans and put in the fridge until I was ready to cook.
To the adults I mixed the chopped poblano pepper in and then put in my large dish. The kids took 20 minutes the adults took 35-45 minutes. You cook until it’s nice and bubbly on the top and hot in the middle.