Spicy Roasted Carrot and Squash Mac ‘n Cheese
This nutritious, flavorful mac ‘n cheese is sure to become a fall favorite. You can prepare it ahead of time for a make-ahead meal!
- 6 organic carrots, peeled and cut into 1-inch dice
- 1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, sweet pumpkin or other orange flesh squash, cut into 1-inch dice
- Natural cooking spray or olive oil, for drizzling
- 1/2 teaspoon cumin
- 1/2 teaspoon coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon turmeric
- 1/2 teaspoon paprika
- Salt and pepper
- A little freshly grated nutmeg
- 1 pound macaroni with lines, such as penne or cavatappi or whole wheat short-cut pasta
- 4 tablespoons butter
- 3 round tablespoons flour
- 1 shallot, finely chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, finely chopped
- 1 teaspoon dry mustard
- A few dashes of Worcestershire sauce
- 2 1/2 cups milk
- 1/2 cup chicken stock
- 3 cups Red Leicester cheese or sharp yellow cheddar cheese, divided
- Place the oven racks in the upper and lower third of the oven. Pre-heat the oven to 425ºF.
- Arrange the carrots and squash on separate baking sheets and lightly coat in oil. Season the carrots with cumin, coriander, turmeric, paprika, salt and pepper. Season the squash with salt, pepper and a little freshly grated nutmeg. Roast the carrots and squash until tender, switching the trays in the oven once, until golden at the edges, about 25 minutes.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil for pasta. Add salt and under-cook the pasta by a minute or two – it will continue to cook in the oven.
- Melt the butter in a saucepot over medium heat. Stir in the flour and cook for a minute or two. Add the shallots and garlic; season with mustard, salt and pepper and stir for a minute or two. Add the Worcestershire sauce, then whisk in the milk; bring the sauce to a bubble, then thicken to coat the spoon.
- Place half the roasted squash and carrots into a food processor with the chicken stock and puree. Whisk the puree into the milk sauce.
- Stir 2 1/2 cups of the cheese into the sauce; combine with the pasta and half of the remaining carrots and squash. Transfer to a casserole dish and top with the rest of the roasted carrots and squash and cheese.
- Brown the casserole in the hot oven or cool it and store for a make-ahead meal. If storing, bring the casserole to room temperature before baking at 375ºF until brown and bubbly.