Do you love gourmet food, but your kids are picky eaters? Do you have kids that won’t even look at their veggies? I created this tasty gourmet dish that will make your entire family’s mouth water. It is certainly a favorite in my home, and my son doesn’t even realize that it contains a vegetable!
I swear, only two weeks ago, one of my friend’s kids said, “this is the best Macaroni & Cheese I’ve ever tasted!” If an adult had said it, I would have been ultimately offended, but it was a fantastic compliment coming from a youngster whose pallet is sometimes hard to please.
Back in my college days (with a little inspiration from one of my sisters) I created this meal to impress a date for homecoming. She wasn’t interested in dating me, but she was definitely interested in this meal. So even though my dating confidence suffered, my cooking confidence grew, and I was inspired to pursue my passion for the culinary arts.
Now, on with the nitty gritty:
- 1 butternut squash
- 1 pint of heavy whipping cream
- 1 handful of fresh thyme (plucked leaves…no stems)
- Rigatoni or Ziti Pasta
- Kosher Salt
- Ground Pepper
- 2-3 cups Shredded Mozzarella cheese
- 1/4 cup real butter
- 2 Tbsp. honey
Thoroughly peel the squash with a sharp peeler & cut the squash into small 1 inch squares, then steam until tender. While the squash is steaming, boil the pasta noodles until they are fairly soft. You can test the softness with a fork. The fork should easily mash the squash. Lift up the steamer basket and drain any remaining moisture. Add the squash squares to a large mixing bowl.
While hot, mash the butternut squash, and add the butter and honey. Preheat your oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit. In the large bowl, blend the squash mixture with the cooked pasta. Add the thyme leaves, the cream, a pinch of Kosher salt & pepper, and most of the mozzarella cheese (save some for the top). Mix thoroughly without damaging the shape of pasta. Pour the mixture into a rectangular casserole dish. A 9×12 dish will work fine. Cover the mixture with a layer of mozzarella cheese (as thick as you want). Bake on a middle rack for 20-30 minutes, or until the top of the cheese starts to turn golden brown.
Feel free to garnish with fresh herbs and serve with a tasty french baguette.
Bon Appetit! Please leave a comment below if you have some other fun recipes, or if you’ve tried this recipe.