A healthy twist on a classic favorite!! It makes a perfect side dish to any meal and it's a dish even your kiddos will LOVE. Click on the link above to see my TV segment on this lovely recipe!
3 cups uncooked whole wheat pasta shells
4 cups 1/2-inch peeled & cubed uncooked butternut squash
1/2 of a minced onion- about 1/3 cup
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
3/4 cup chicken or vegetable stock
1 cup milk. divided
3/4 cup freshly grated smoked gouda cheese- fontina cheese would work well too
1/4 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese
3/4 cup shredded cheddar
2 tablespoons butter
2 tablespoons fine breadcrumbs
fresh chopped herbs for garnish (sage, basil, cilantro, thyme)
Preheat oven to 375 degrees F. Prepare water for pasta and once it comes to a boil, cook pasta according to directions, then drain.
While water is boiling, heat a large cast-iron (or oven-safe) skillet over medium-low heat. Add olive oil, then toss in squash, & onion. Season with salt, pepper and whatever fresh herbs you are using. Add stock and cover skillet, cooking for 15-20 minutes, stirring occasionally, until squash is soft and can easily be mashed. Remove cover and reduce heat to low. Mash squash with a potato masher or fork until smooth. Add in 1/2 cup of milk, and all of the cheeses stirring until melted and smooth, about 5 minutes. If mixture is too starchy, add in additional milk , stirring until sauce is the consistency you want. Stir in butter, mixing for a minute or so until incorporated. Taste and season additionally if desired.
Fold pasta into the sauce, so they are all coated. You can top with additional shredded cheese and breadcrumbs and bake for 15 minutes or until golden & bubbly. Serve while hot.