Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese
12 ounces dried rigatoni
1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (3 1/2 cups)
2 3/4 cups milk
1/4 cup all-purpose flour
8 ounces smoked Gruyere cheese, shredded (2 cups)
8 slices bacon
2 small sweet onions, cut into chunks
3 ounces sourdough bread
2 tablespoons butter, melted
fresh flat-leaf Italian parsley
1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees F. Lightly butter a 3-quart au gratin or baking dish; set aside. Cook pasta according to package directions. Drain; transfer to a large bowl.
2. Meanwhile, in a large saucepan combine the squash and 2 1/2 cups of the milk over medium-high heat. Bring to boiling; reduce heat to medium, and simmer until the squash is tender when pierced with a fork, 18 to 20 minutes. Stir together remaining 1/4 cup milk and flour; stir into squash mixture. Bring to boiling; cook until thickened, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in 1 1/2 cups of the Gruyere until melted; keep warm.
3. Meanwhile, in a very large skillet cook bacon until crisp; drain on paper towels. Crumble; set aside. Pour off all but 2 tablespoons bacon drippings. Return skillet to the heat.
4. Add onions to skillet; cover and cook over low heat 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Uncover and increase heat to high. Cook 4 to 6 minutes more, stirring, until onions are golden.
5. Add squash-cheese mixture, onions, and bacon to the bowl with the pasta. Toss well to combine, then transfer to prepared baking dish.
6. Place bread in a food processor and pulse with two or three on/off turns to form large coarse crumbs (you should have about 2 cups). Transfer to a small bowl; mix with melted butter. Sprinkle remaining Gruyere and the bread crumbs over pasta mixture. over Bake until top is browned, about 14 to 15 minutes. Cool 5 minutes. Sprinkle with parsley. Makes 6 to 8 servings.
Candy Corn Drink
- 1 4-serving-size package lemon-flavor gelatin
- 1 cup boiling water
- 2 cups mango nectar
- 3 1/2 cups orange carbonated beverage, chilled
- 1 cup whipping cream
- 2 tablespoons honey
- Candy corn (optional)
1. In a large bowl combine gelatin and the boiling water, stirring until gelatin is dissolved. Stir in the mango nectar. Pour mixture into a tall, clear 2-quart pitcher. Cover and chill about 2 hours or until thickened but not set. Gently pour* orange carbonated beverage over gelatin layer in pitcher.
2. In a large bowl combine whipping cream and honey. Beat with an electric mixer or large whisk just until stiff peaks form (tips stand straight). Spoon over mixtures in pitcher. If desired, add candy. Before serving, stir to muddle.
From the Test Kitchen*Test Kitchen Tip:
- To ensure that the carbonated beverage stays on top of the gelatin mixture, hold a wooden spoon above the gelatin layer and pour the carbonated beverage over the back of the spoon.