Thursday, January 7, 2010

Lighter Mac & Cheese

It's certainly that time of year when I'm craving a little "comfort" food, which for me doesn't usually includes things like Mac & Cheese. However, since receiving these adorable mini Le Cruset crocks at Christmas, I've been dying to make something gooey and cheesy in them! I apologize for the photo, I need some serious help when it comes to photographing food, which is one of my goals for the new year. Hopefully I'll get it together and start to take better photos like the beautiful photos in the all of the blogs that The Nest girls maintain.

Lighter Mac & Cheese
Created by me!
Serves 2

3/4 cup whole wheat penne pasta (or your favorite short cut pasta shape)
1/2 cup butternut squash, cut into a small dice
1/4 cup 1% milk
1 tbl. butter (I use Smart Balance sticks)
1/2 tbl. flour
1/2 cup reduced fat shredded cheddar cheese (plus more for topping)
1/2 cup lowfat or fat free cream cheese
2 tbl. breadcrumbs
Salt & Pepper to taste
Parsley for garnishing (optional)

Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Bring a medium pot of salted water to a boil, then add the squash and pasta and cook according to the directions for your pasta, draining a little shy of al dente. The squash should be softened. Place the drained pasta and squash back into the pasta pot over medium heat, add milk, butter and flour and stir until the flour has been absorbed and the milk is almost gone, about 2-3 minutes. Add the cream cheese, cheddar cheese, salt and pepper - stir to combine. Divide the mixture between two small oven-proof crocks, or one small baking dish. Top with additional cheese, if desired, then breadcrumbs. Spray the top with olive oil spray and bake 15-20 minutes or until the cheese is bubbly and golden brown. Sprinkle with parsley and serve...guilt free!

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