Loaded Mac & Cheese

There are two schools of thought about macaroni and cheese: some like it crusty and extra-cheesy, while others prefer it smooth and creamy. But most people are delighted by any homemade macaroni and cheese. This creamy version has one powerful advantage: added vegetables.
  • 1/2 cup frozen edamame/peas
  • 8 oz. shell or macaroni pasta
  • 1 lb. peeled diced butternut squash
  • 1-1/2 cups (3 oz.) finely shredded cheddar cheese
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 3/4-1 cup whole milk
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • Measuring cups
  • Measuring spoons
  • Large pot
  • Bowl
  • Grater
  • Steamer basket
  • Medium pot
  • Blender/Food processor
  • Serving Dish
1.  Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil.  Add edamame/peas and cook until tender, following directions on package.  Using a slotted spoon, scoop into a bowl.  Add pasta to water and cook until just tender, following directions on package.
2.  While pasta cooks, steam squash in a separate pot in a steamer basket set over boiling water, covered, until very soft and cooked through, 12-13 minutes.  Scoop squash straight into a blender or food processor.  Add cheese, butter, and 3/4 cup milk; blitz into a smooth, thick, but still pourable sauce.  If it seems too thick, add a little extra milk.  Season with the salt and pepper.
3.  Drain pasta, return to empty pasta pot, and pour in butternut squash sauce; mix.  Spoon into a serving dish and top with edamame/peas.
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