by Sarah Steimer
- 1/2 small butternut squash, seeded
- 3 medium sunchokes, peeled (also known as Jerusalem artichokes – ALL OVER farmer’s markets right now)
- 12 ounces pasta – I used mini shells
- salt, to taste
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- 2 tablespoons unsalted butter
- 2 tablespoons flour
- 1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
- 1 3/4 cups nonfat milk
- 1/4 cup vegetable stock
- 4 ounces Muenster cheese, grated
- 4 ounces cheddar cheese, grated
- 1/2 cup breadcrumbs
Prepare a baking sheet or glass baking dish with a layer of aluminum foil. Lay the squash, cut side down, on the baking sheet. Add the peeled sunchokes to the sheet, and roast in the oven at 450 degrees for about 25-30 minutes, or until the squash is tender when pierced with a knife.
Scoop the squash out of the flesh and place into a mixing bowl and mash. Add the roasted sunchokes, mashing to incorporate them with the butternut squash.
Cook the pasta according to package directions, or until al dente, drain, return to the pot, remove from heat and set aside to cool.
Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Melt the butter in the saucepan, then whisk in the flour and mustard. Continue whisking for about 1 minute, then slowly add in the milk, stirring constantly. Bring the mixture to a simmer, lower heat to medium-low and keep simmering, whisking frequently, for 5-6 minutes, or until the mixture has thickened to the consistency of heavy cream.
Season the sauce with the pepper and 1/2 teaspoon salt. Add the squash sunchoke mash, Muenster and cheddar, stirring with a wooden spoon until the cheese has melted. The color turns a really bright, almost fake-looking orange.
Pour the cheese sauce into the cooked macaroni, stirring to ensure all ingredients are evenly incorporated. Preheat your broiler.
Pour the macaroni into a medium baking dish and top with the breadcrumbs. Broil for about 10 minutes, or until the bubbly with brown edges.
Makes about 10 servings.
*Throughout November, “Out of the Box” will guide you away from prepackaged mac and cheese and will feature oodles of our favorite recipes – all of which can be found here.