Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

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Yields: 8 servings

3 cups cubed peeled butternut squash (about 1 [1-pound] squash)
1 1/4 cups fat-free, lower-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cups fat-free milk
2 garlic cloves
1 tsp. kosher salt
1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper
2 Tbsp. fat-free Greek yogurt
1 1/4 cups (5 ounces) shredded Gruyère cheese
1 cup (4 ounces) grated pecorino Romano cheese
1/4 cup (1 ounce) finely grated fresh Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, divided
1 lb. uncooked cavatappi
Cooking spray
1 tsp. olive oil
1/2 cup panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
2 Tbsp. chopped fresh parsley

Preheat oven to 375°.
Combine squash, broth, milk, and garlic in a medium saucepan; bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Reduce heat to medium, and simmer until squash is tender when pierced with a fork, about 25 minutes. Remove from heat.

Place the hot squash mixture in a blender. Add salt, pepper, and Greek yogurt. Remove the center piece of blender lid (to allow steam to escape); secure blender lid on blender. Place a clean towel over opening in blender lid (to avoid splatters). Blend until smooth. Place blended squash mixture in a bowl; stir in Gruyère, pecorino Romano, and 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano. Stir until combined.

Cook pasta according to package directions, omitting salt and fat; drain well. Add pasta to squash mixture, and stir until combined. Spread mixture evenly into a 13 x 9-inch glass or ceramic baking dish coated with cooking spray.
Heat oil in a medium skillet over medium heat. Add panko, and cook for 2 minutes or until golden brown. Remove from heat; stir in remaining 2 tablespoons Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese. Sprinkle evenly over the hot pasta mixture. Lightly coat topping with cooking spray.
Bake at 375° for 25 minutes or until bubbly. Sprinkle with parsley, and serve immediately.


Sweet Potato Muffins
Diana Rattray
Yields: 12 muffins

6 Tbsp. butter, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1 egg
1 tsp. vanilla extract
1 3/4 cup sifted all-purpose flour
1 1/2 tsp. baking powder
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/2 tsp. nutmeg
1/2 tsp. salt
2/3 cup evaporated or regular milk
1 1/2 cups peeled finely shredded sweet potato
2/3 cup chopped walnuts or pecans

In a large mixing bowl with hand-held electric mixer on medium speed, beat butter and sugar until light and fluffy. Beat in egg and vanilla until well blended.

In a separate bowl, combine flour, baking powder, cinnamon, nutmeg, and salt. Stir into the butter mixture alternately with milk, mixing just until dry ingredients are moistened. Stir in sweet potato and chopped nuts. Spoon batter into greased muffin cups, filling about 2/3 full. Bake at 375° for 25 to 30 minutes, or until centers spring back when pressed with fingertip. Cool in pan on rack for 5 minutes. Remove from pan and serve muffins warm. Makes about 1 dozen sweet potato muffins.