Mac & Cheese with Squash & Greens

vegetarian_squashmaccheese_7 by EggsonSunday

Mac & Cheese with Squash & Greens -Photo by EggsonSunday

Comfort food for the fall, from EggsonSunday, adapted from Culinate

1 medium winter squash (or 3 or so cups cooked pureed squash or pumpkin)
2 cloves garlic, minced1 lb. short dried pasta, such as elbow macaroni or penne
about 1 lb fresh greens (kale, chard, beet…) chopped, blanched and drained or 10 ounces frozen greens, drained and chopped
Olive oil or lard for the pasta and the pan
1 tsp dry mustard

¼ tsp cayenne

½ tsp grated nutmeg
Salt and pepper

⅛ cup flour
2 cups grated sharp Cheddar or other, perhaps chevre?
1 cup grated Gruyère or other cheese
1½ cups milk

2 Tbsp butter, melted
1 cup breadcrumbs

Parmesan, for grating

 

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees. Roast halved squash in the oven on a sheet pan until soft, about 45 minutes to 1 hour depending on the size squash you have. When done cooking, remove squash from oven and set aside until cool enough to handle. Scrape flesh into a bowl (discard seeds and stringy pulp) and mash until smooth.

Meanwhile, cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water; drain and return to cooking pot. Toss with a little olive oil to keep it from sticking while you assemble the remaining ingredients.

Turn oven down to 375 degrees.

Add the chopped greens, mustard, garlic, cayenne, nutmeg, salt, pepper, and flour to the bowl with the mashed squash; mix well. Add the cheese and milk, and mix well.  Add the pasta and toss until evenly coated with the squash, greens and cheese mixture.

Spread mixture into a lightly oiled 9×13 inch baking dish. Toss the breadcrumbs with the melted butter until coated, then sprinkle the buttered breadcrumbs evenly across the top of the pasta. Grate a thin layer of Parmesan on top of the breadcrumbs.

Bake until bubbly and browned on top, about 30 minutes. Let cool briefly before serving. Serves 8