Coconut mac and cheese with butternut squash and sage (for ~6 generous servings)
One of the most popular recipes on my site is my original coconut milk mac and cheese recipe, and I'm tickled that it is! I absolutely love mac and cheese, it's my favorite food, so it seems fitting that all of you like it too. This version switches my original recipe up a bit with the addition for roasted butternut squash and plenty of fresh sage. Dried sage would do as well, of course! Any mac and cheese is a good one to me.
18 oz. (approx. 4 cups) butternut squash
1 lb. dried medium shells
13.5 oz. can of coconut milk
6 fresh sage leaves
1 tablespoon flour
1 teaspoon turmeric
1 teaspoon smoked paprika
2 cups grated cheddar cheese
1/4 cup seasoned Italian breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons butter, melted
Pre-heat your oven to 400 degree Fahrenheit.
Chop the butternut squash into large chunks. Toss the chunks in a generous drizzle of olive oil and spread them out on a parchment-lined baking pan. Roast the butternut squash in the oven for around 40 minutes until soft and golden. Transfer the butternut squash to a plate and mash the chunks until smooth using a fork.
Meanwhile boil the shells to al dente with plenty of salt according to your package's instructions. Drain the pasta and return the pot to the burner.
Heat the pot on medium heat. Add the coconut milk and three of the fresh sage leaves to the pot. Bring the coconut milk with the sage to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and continue to stir until the milk slightly thickens.
In a small bowl whisk together the flour and a few tablespoons of water. Add this mixture to the pot, and stir it in until completely combined. Remove the sage leaves from the pot.
Add the turmeric, smoked paprika and cheddar cheese. Allow the cheese to melt, then add the butternut squash and the shells to the pot. Stir to make sure the sauce coats the pasta. Add salt and pepper to taste.
Add the mac and cheese to a shallow baking dish and set aside.
Finely chop the rest of the sage leaves. To make the topping, combine the breadcrumbs, melted butter, and the chopped sage. Evenly top the mac and cheese with the breadcrumb mixture.
Bake the mac and cheese in the oven until the breadcrumbs brown, around 20 minutes. Enjoy right away, but re-heated mac and cheese is always good too.