Creamy Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese Recipe



1 medium sized butternut squash (about 2 1/2 pounds)
3-4 cups low-sodium chicken broth
3/4 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon ground mustard powder
1 teaspoon smoked Spanish paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper (more if you'd like additional heat)
Freshly ground black pepper
1/2 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, grated (can also use gruyere, fontina, or other semi-soft cheese)
1 pound whole wheat elbow macaroni

Peel butternut squash with a vegetable peeler, then cut in half. Scoop out seeds and chop the remaining squash into 1" pieces. Combine in a medium saucepan with the chicken broth, making sure the broth covers the squash completely. Add the sage leaves and bring all to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer uncovered for about 20 minutes or until squash is fork tender.

While the squash cooks, bring a large pot of water to a rapid boil. Add the pound of whole wheat macaroni and cook according to packaged directions until al dente (about 8 minutes). Drain and set aside.

Drain squash, while reserving the chicken broth. Add the cooked squash and sage to the blender or food processor and process in batches until smooth, adding about a cup of the reserved chicken broth. Return the pureed chicken broth to a medium pot over low heat and add the heavy cream, spices, and grated cheddar, stirring until the cheese is melted and the sauce is completely smooth (you will see tiny bits of the pureed squash if you look closely, but that's OK).

Pour the sauce over the cooked pasta and stir until well combined. Taste and adjust seasoning, then serve. This can be made up to two days in advance, and will keep well in the refrigerator in an air-tight container for about one week.

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