Serves 8, 1 cup per serving
- Non-stick cooking spray
- 12 ounces whole wheat macaroni
- 1 (1½ pound) butternut or acorn squash
- ½ cup water
- 6 ounces reduced-fat sharp cheddar cheese
- 1 (16-ounce) container nonfat cottage cheese
- 1 cup nonfat milk
- ¼ teaspoon salt
- ¼ teaspoon pepper
- ¼ cup dry whole wheat breadcrumbs
- 9-inch square baking dish
- Box grater
- Cutting board
- Large pot
- Measuring cups
- Measuring spoons
- Microwavesafe bowl
- Mixing spoon
- Sharp knife
- Preheat oven to 375°F.
- Coat 9-inch square baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Set aside.
- Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook macaroni for 2 minutes less than package directions. Drain and set aside. Reserve pot for later.
- While pasta cooks, cut squash in half and scoop out seeds. Cut into large chunks. Place in microwave-safe bowl with water. Cover with plastic wrap. Microwave on high until tender, about 10 minutes. Let cool.
- While squash cooks and cools, grate cheddar cheese.
- Peel cooled squash. Place in pot used to cook pasta. Mash with a fork. Add cottage cheese and milk. Stir until smooth. Add pasta, cheddar cheese, salt, and pepper. Stir until combined. Spread evenly in prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with breadcrumbs.
- Bake until breadcrumbs are browned and edges are bubbling, about 45 minutes.
- To reduce cooking time, or when winter squash is not in season, use 2 (12-ounce) boxes of thawed frozen pureed squash in place of the fresh squash.
- If you have a blender, use it to puree the squash, cottage cheese, and milk in step 6. This will give the sauce a smoother texture.
- If you do not have a microwave, bake squash in the oven. Cut squash in half. Place cut side down in a baking dish with ½ cup water. Bake at 375°F until tender, about 1 hour. Transfer to a clean cutting board to cool.