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Macaroni & (Long Island) Cheese (Squash)

October 7, 2010

  104_5319This is a long island cheese squash.  What do you do with a long island cheese squash, you ask? You make "Macaroni and (Long Island) Cheese (Squash)” of course.

Last fall, I experiment in the kitchen in a desperate attempt to rise the veggie intake in my diet by creating a Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese dish that I raved about for days.  When I picked up the long island cheese squash, often referred to as a Cinderella Pumpkin, thanks to it’s carriage like shape, I started to get extremely excited at the opportunity that lie ahead for this single girl in the kitchen.

I made a few modifications to the butternut squash sneaky mac-n-cheese recipe, and ended up with another delicious dish I’m proud to share, spiced with goodness and full of creamy perfection.  

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Macaroni and (Long Island) Cheese (Squash)

Ingredients
1 lb long island cheese squash, peeled and cut into chunks
1 cup vegetable stock
2 cups skim milk
1 lb macaroni, or other pasta
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
1 1/2 cup shredded cheddar, (I used Cabot reduced fat cheddar)
3/4 cup low-fat ricotta
3 Tablespoons breadcrumbs 
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Instructions
1. Preheat Oven to 375
2. Heat squash cubes, milk and stock in a medium pan. Bring to a Boil, and reduce head to simmer.
3. Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions. I like to cook my pasta a bit al dente, as it will be baked in the oven as well. 
4. When squash is tender, remove from heat and mash squash.
5. Mix spices into mashed squash.
6. After pasta is done cooking, transfer it to a large bowl. Stir in squash mixture as well as cheddar and ricotta.
7. Transfer to a 9×13 baking dish and sprinkle breadcrumbs over top of dish.
8. Cover with foil & bake for 25 minutes.  Remove Foil and bake for 45 minutes. Dish is finished when the top is browned and crispy, heated well throughout.  Let cool slightly before serving.

 

This time, I used pasta rings rather than macaroni – it was like a pound of mini hugs! Look at all those O’s!
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Squash Mashing Makeover, before and after. I’m learning that cooking doesn’t have to be frustrating and difficult, it can be beautiful.

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I have enjoyed every level of sharpness of the Cabot cheese I’ve tried, but ever since recommitting to my weight-loss, I’ve especially been impressed with the richness found in the 50% Reduced Fat Sharp.  It doesn’t skimp of flavor and it’s a small way for me to make a fat reduction in my diet.

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So glad I turned this squash into a healthier-version of mac’n’cheese, one of my favorite comfort foods. The best part of this recipe is that it makes A LOT of food, for not too much money.  After the baking dish cooled, I cut the 9 x 13 pan into twenty pieces.  I put some in the fridge to eat during the week, and also put more than half of the slices into Ziploc containers. I did this with the similar recipe last year, and after defrosting, the pasta bake tasted just the same- DELICIOUS! 104_5497104_5502I love eating this bake as is.
I love eating it with a splash of hot sauce, or barbeque sauce.
I love eating it with slices of tomato, and fresh cracked pepper.
I love eating it over a bed of spinach, topped with a runny egg.

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28 Comments leave one →
  1. October 7, 2010 10:10 pm

    Oh my Heather! That squash is definitely Cinderella. From a non-descript squash to a fabulous mac and cheese. It doesn’t even have to turn back into a squash at midnight.

  2. Alanna permalink
    October 7, 2010 10:21 pm

    This looks good – I’ve never heard of Cheese Squash.

    I just happened to make mac and cheese tonight! I added chopped spinach (kind of hidden, but you can’t really hide the green flecks), peas, and chopped broccoli. I really love broccoli in my mac and cheese and you can’t taste the spinach – the peas were an experiment and I’m happy with it. My really picky bf even ate two huge chunks. If you’re interested in the recipe, let me know – glad to share. I kind of made it up, so I’ll have to write it all down.

  3. October 7, 2010 10:27 pm

    ok you are genius. “it was like a pound of mini hugs” <- love this

  4. October 7, 2010 10:50 pm

    I love those adorable “o” noodles! So cute!

  5. October 7, 2010 10:53 pm

    Heather that looks awesome!!!! I’m so happy you bought him (or her?) hahah

  6. October 7, 2010 10:58 pm

    Heather, this is beautiful! Great recipe!

  7. October 7, 2010 11:08 pm

    Heather — I don’t know if I have ever commented before, but I love your blog and think you rock! Your awesomeness was definitely affirmed with this post. 🙂 I actually just promised my boyfriend I would make him squash this weekend! I might do something similar! Cheese makes everything better. 🙂

  8. Elia permalink
    October 7, 2010 11:16 pm

    This recipe sounds delicious and since I am not the worlds best chef. Where would I find a “cinderella” squash. I am trying out the different squashes this year and would love to add this to the list of new favorites.

    • October 7, 2010 11:26 pm

      I found mine at a local farm – I’ve seen them at farmer’s markets, produce stands and once in a while I’ve seen them at the grocery. It looks like a white pumpkin.

      Though, this recipe would probably work well with any type of squash!

  9. October 8, 2010 6:23 am

    This looks delicious. My neighborhood farmers’ market is tomorrow — I’ll have to look for Long Island cheese squash!

  10. October 8, 2010 7:45 am

    DROOL! I WILL be making this in the near future! Thanks for sharing! 🙂

  11. October 8, 2010 7:46 am

    Oh yum. This is a great idea. And I love that pasta shape. I must find it.

    Also, this: it was like a pound of mini hugs? Hilarious!

  12. October 8, 2010 8:39 am

    I have been told that squash and cheese go really well together! Your variations sound delcious, too. Hot sauce? Spinach? Eggs? Yes, please!

  13. October 8, 2010 11:38 am

    This looks amazingly delicious and I will be making it at some point.

    Can I find this “Long Island Cheese Squash” in Wisconsin? Or is there something just as delicious that I could substitute?

  14. October 8, 2010 11:38 am

    Did you have issues with the Cabot cheese melting? I used the sharp cheddar (not the reduced fat) to make baked mac n cheese last week and the cheese melted REALLY poorly. I ended up with a pool of liquid and gobs of cheese in the dish. I didn’t do anything different than usual (I don’t think.) so the cheese was the only thing I could think of.

    Just wondering what your experience was?

    • October 8, 2010 12:07 pm

      Actually, not at all – I think it helped that I mixed it in with the already hot, liquid/mashed squash.

      I’ve used Cabot in a few other recipes and I haven’t had any melting recipes. I do generally add the cheese to already warm liquid ingredients, though. Perhaps that’s why?

      • October 8, 2010 12:30 pm

        Yeah, that’s what I did too – mixed the shredded cheese into warm liquids. Hmmm….maybe it was just a fluke.

  15. October 8, 2010 1:05 pm

    Looks amazing Heather — just amazing!!

    And you know the spoons you featured yesterday as a handmade Christmas option? I showed them to my husband and we are buying some for my dad and step mom!!

    • October 8, 2010 1:45 pm

      Katie –

      That is awesome! I am so glad to hear that you are purchasing from Wooden Hive! Kerrie, the artist, is a dream to work with!

      xo
      Heather

  16. October 8, 2010 5:10 pm

    Thanks, Heather, for posting a great recipe with Cabot cheese! We linked to it on our facebook fan page for everyone to see. Check it out at http://www.facebook.com/cabot!
    ~Jacquelyn

  17. October 10, 2010 6:39 pm

    This looks delicious! I saved it in my Google Reader.

  18. Jenn permalink
    October 13, 2010 8:52 pm

    Great recipe… can’t wait to try it out. You wouldn’t happen to have any nutrtional values on it….would you????

    • October 28, 2010 7:51 pm

      Jenn –

      I am sorry it took me 100 years to respond to your question! I don’t have the nutritional facts for THIS recipe, but I do for the Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese that is VERY VERY similiar (which i link to in this post)

      The serving size is for 1/20th of the recipe, which makes a big old 9×13 pan – i just cut it into 20 pieces in a 4 x 5 grid to serve – YUM!

      *Calories*200.0* Total Fat*5.8 g Saturated Fat3.1 g Polyunsaturated Fat0.2 g Monounsaturated Fat1.8 g Trans Fat0.0 g* Cholesterol*16.1 mg* Sodium*449.1 mg* Potassium*326.2 mg* Total Carbohydrate*27.9 g Dietary Fiber2.0 g Sugars1.2 g* Protein*10.2 g Vitamin A111.7 % Vitamin B-12 5.5 % Vitamin B-66.3 % Vitamin C20.0 % Vitamin D0.2 % Vitamin E0.8 % Calcium23.0 % Copper3.4 % Folate5.6 % Iron8.7 % Magnesium8.5 % Manganese7.5 % Niacin4.6 % Pantothenic Acid 5.2 % Phosphorus 15.8 % Riboflavin8.9 % Selenium8.7 % Thiamin6.3 % Zinc5.6 %

      • Jenn permalink
        October 29, 2010 10:55 am

        Thanks for the info Heather!

  19. October 19, 2010 4:52 pm

    I made this over the weekend, and was quite pleased with the result! The squash cutting process was a pain, but after that things were easy-peasy. I used Barilla Plus elbows for pasta, and a local cheddar I found at the farmers’ market.

    On a side note, I like this much better hot than cold. To me, it has a pleasant kick (probably the cayenne) when it’s warm, but tastes too sweet when it’s cold.

Trackbacks

  1. 10.11.10 Eats | THS eats and moves
  2. Footwear, spinach, and motivation. | 509 Heather Lane
  3. Macaroni and (Long Island) Cheese (Squash) « Brownies and Zucchini

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