Red kuri squash isn’t all that popular yet in the States, but in France you’ll find it much more often than the one more common on American tables: butternut. The difference in flavor is slight; red kuri squash has a slightly chestnut undertone to its flavor, which gives it its French name, potimarron, a portemanteau of potiron — pumpkin –, and marron — chestnut. In younger, organic squash, the skin can be left on, which means that all you need to do to prepare it for this squash macaroni and cheese recipe is dice and roast it. Twenty minutes later, you’ll be ready to toss it into a decadent cheese sauce and serve!
Red Kuri Squash Mac and Cheese
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 small red kuri squash, diced
2 Tbsp. butter
2 Tbsp. flour
1 1/2 cups milk
1 pinch nutmeg
salt and pepper to taste
3.5 ounces cheddar cheese, freshly grated
2 ounces goat cheese
5 ounces whole wheat pasta
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F. Toss the red kuri squash and oil together with a hefty pinch of salt. Bake in one layer in the oven for 20 minutes, tossing once. When the edges have slightly caramelized and the squash is tender, remove it from the oven.
Heat a pot of water to a rolling boil. Season with salt and add the pasta.
In a separate saucepan, heat the butter and flour over medium heat, whisking constantly. When the butter and flour have cooked for 1-2 minutes and formed a roux, slowly stream in the milk, whisking vigorously and continuously. Bring the milk up to a boil, then turn off the heat. Whisk until the sauce has thickened. Season with nutmeg and black pepper.
Remove the sauce from the heat. Add the freshly grated cheddar cheese and goat cheese. Whisk to combine. Do not return the sauce to the heat.
Strain the pasta and place in a serving bowl. Add the squash. Pour in the sauce and mix to combine. Season to taste with salt and serve immediately.
Image: Emily Monaco
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