Over the weekend, I saw one of Paula Deen's shows featuring a tomato mac and cheese recipe. I've been wanting to try adding pureed fall squash to macaroni and cheese for awhile now, so I figured I'd give it a try on Monday. I don't generally make many of Paula's recipes, even though they're always delicious, but they're also so full of fat/butter. But I figured we could splurge and try out her recipe for tomato mac and cheese. I pretty much used her recipe as written and just mixed in about a cup and a half of pureed buttercup squash from my garden. You could use frozen, too. This was very good and I felt a little better about eating it with some veggies incorporated. You really could not taste the squash at all - Kevin actually ate squash and didn't have a clue!! :) And I only had one tomato left, so there's not a lot of tomato on top - I wish I had had another one to use. Its definitely a keeper, but not something I'll make often just for the fat issue. :)
Tomato Mac and Cheese with Squash
4 tablespoons butter, plus more for baking dish
2 cups uncooked elbow macaroni (I used organic whole wheat cavatappi)
2 tablespoons minced onion
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 teaspoon salt, plus more for seasoning
3/4 tablespoon dry mustard
1/4 teaspoon paprika
2 cups milk
(I added 1 1/2 cups pureed fall squash)
3 cups shredded Cheddar, divided (I only used about 2 cups)
2 ripe tomatoes, blanched, peeled, and cut into 1/2-inch thick slices (I only had 1)
Freshly ground black pepper
Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Lightly butter a 13 by 9 by 2-inch baking dish.
Bring 6 cups of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the macaroni and cook until al dente. Drain and set aside.
Melt the butter in a large saucepan, over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring constantly, until tender. Add the flour, salt, dry mustard, and paprika; mix well. Stir in the milk and cook until thickened, about 5 minutes. (Add pureed squash here.) Add 2 cups of the shredded cheese and stir until melted. Toss in the macaroni and pour into the prepared dish. Cover the macaroni with tomato slices and season salt and pepper, to taste. Bake for 35 to 45 minutes. The last few minutes, top with the remaining cheese and return to the oven until the cheese melts. (I didn't think this step was necessary, so I skipped it.) Serve hot.