Squash and Goat Cheese Mac & Cheese with Beer Bread Crumbs

I had two girlfriends over Friday night for wine and cheese making.   We made ricotta, which is incredibly simple to make – in fact, it’s the only cheese I have successfully made (there was a failed attempt at mozzarella that will be re-attempted one day!)  But not just any ricotta – goat ricotta!  We used this delicious organic goat milk:

The recipe we used was very similar to the one listed here, except our milk was pasteurized. (There is a typo in that recipe – step 3 should say 195 degrees, not 15!)  So I had all this goat cheese hanging around and I needed something to make with it… lasagna would have been the obvious choice, but the marathon Roasted Butternut Squash, Sauteed Mustard Greens and Carmelized Onion Lasagna I made a few weeks ago was still fresh in my mind and I was looking for something quicker.  I saw a delicious looking Pumpkin Mac & Cheese pinned by Better Homes and Gardens on Pinterest and I knew I had a winner.  The leftover crust of Red Fife & Hogsback Beer Bread I had hanging around my fridge made the perfect topping!

Bread Crumbs

leftover crust of bread
2 cloves garlic
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
freshly ground salt and pepper
1 tsp dried parsley

1. Preheat oven to 250. Chop bread into small cubes. Place into food processor along with garlic and pulse until crumbled and no large chunks remain. Spread crumbs onto baking sheet and bake for about 25 minutes, stirring halfway through.

2. Remove from oven.  For this recipe, measure about 3/4 cup of the crumbs.  Mix with Parmesan, parsley salt and pepper.  Set aside.  Cover remaining crumbs and refrigerate.

Mac & Cheese

3 cups dried pasta (I used whole wheat egg noodles)
olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
1 clove garlic
2 tbsp whole wheat flour
freshly ground salt and pepper
2 tbsp butter
1 1/2 cups milk
1 1/2 cups goat cheese ricotta
1/2 cup grated mozzarella
1 small squash, roasted and mashed (about 2 cups)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
1 tsp dried rosemary

Directions

1. Preheat oven to 350. Cook pasta in a large pot following package directions until al dente. Drain pasta, then return to pot.

2. Meanwhile, in a medium saucepan heat oil over medium heat.  Add onions, cook until starting to soften.  Add garlic, cook for 1-2 minutes.

3. Melt butter and stir in flour, salt, and pepper. Add milk. Cook and stir over medium heat until slightly thickened (don’t let it boil). Stir in goat cheese, mozzarella, squash, thyme and rosemary until cheese is melted. Stir cheese sauce into pasta to coat. Transfer to a baking dish.

4. Sprinkle bread crumb mixture over pasta. Bake, uncovered, for 30 minutes or until bubbly and top is golden. Let stand 10 minutes before serving.

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10 thoughts on “Squash and Goat Cheese Mac & Cheese with Beer Bread Crumbs

  1. Pingback: Better Than Fast Food Hamburgers « Locavore Girl in the City

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