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RECIPE: Creamy Macaroni and Cheese

Make more nutritious macaroni cheese by adding pureed butternut squash.  |  Rich Hein~Sun-Times

Make a more nutritious macaroni and cheese by adding pureed butternut squash. | Rich Hein~Sun-Times

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Updated: December 17, 2011 8:04AM


1 pound uncooked cavatappi or elbow pasta

3 cups cubed butternut squash

1¼ cups chicken broth, low-sodium and low-fat preferred

1½ cups milk, skim or 2 percent preferred

2 garlic cloves

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fat-free Greek yogurt

1¼ cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese

1 cup (4 ounces) shredded Pecorino Romano

¼ cup (1 ounce) grated Parmesan cheese, divided

½ teaspoon fresh grated nutmeg

½ cup panko bread crumbs

½ teaspoon paprika

Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Cook pasta in large pot of salted water until just al dente. Drain.

Combine squash, broth, milk and garlic in medium saucepan and bring to boil over medium-high heat. Reduce to medium and cook about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.

Blend mixture with salt, pepper and yogurt in blender until completely smooth. Do this in batches; remove center lid from blender to allow steam to escape, and cover top with cloth towel to avoid splattering.

Place mixture into large bowl and stir in all of cheeses except 2 tablespoons of Parmesan. Add nutmeg and pasta and stir to combine. Lightly coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray. Pour mixture into it, smoothing top. Combine remaining Parmesan, panko and paprika in small bowl and sprinkle on top. Bake for about 25 minutes, until hot and bubbly; serve immediately.

Adapted from Cooking Light

Nutrition facts per serving: 390 calories, 12 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 40 mg cholesterol, 55 g carbohydrates, 5 g sugars, 22 g protein, 590 mg sodium, 3 g fiber

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