Squash Baked Macaroni
This recipe for squash baked macaroni from chef Todd English is a perfect choice for Sunday dinner.
- 1/2 cup browned unsalted butter, plus 2 tablespoons room temperature
- 2 medium butternut squashes (1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise and seeded
- 2 medium acorn squashes (1 1/2 pounds each), halved lengthwise and seeded
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- Coarse salt and freshly ground pepper
- 2 pounds elbow macaroni
- 1 cup heavy cream
- 1 cup milk
- Pinch of freshly ground nutmeg
- 1 1/2 cups freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/4 cup mascarpone cheese
- 3/4 cup fresh ricotta cheese
- 1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
- 1/2 cup ground store-bought amaretto cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees with oven racks placed in the upper and lower third of the oven. Butter a 14-by-10-by-3-inch baking dish with 1 tablespoon room-temperature butter; set aside. Divide squashes between two rimmed baking sheets; drizzle with oil. Toss squashes until evenly coated. Rub the cut sides and the cavities of the squashes with the remaining tablespoon room-temperature butter, and season with salt and pepper. Place cut sides down, and bake until squashes are very soft, about 45 minutes. Remove from oven and set aside to cool. Do not turn off oven.
When the squashes are cool enough to handle, use a large spoon to scoop flesh into the bowl of a food processor; discard skins. Add cream and milk; puree until smooth. Add nutmeg, and season with salt and pepper. Process until well combined. Transfer mixture to a large bowl; set aside.
Bring a large covered pot of water to a boil; add salt. Add pasta, cover, and return to a boil. Uncover, and cook according to package instructions until al dente. Drain and add to bowl with squash mixture along with parmesan cheese and the mascarpone cheese. Stir until well combined. Transfer mixture to prepared baking dish. Using a tablespoon, dollop ricotta cheese on top of the pasta mixture. Place the breadcrumbs, amaretto crumbs, and browned butter into a small bowl; stir to combine. Sprinkle mixture evenly over the surface of the pasta mixture. Bake until golden brown and heated through, about 30 minutes.