Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese

INGREDIENTS

 2 tablespoons butter or olive oil
 3 large cloves garlic, minced
 1 pound (~ 4 cups) diced butternut squash (acorn squash or a mix of both also works)
 1 1/2 cups vegetable/chicken stock
 1 pound uncooked pasta
 2 cups whole milk
 8 ounces good-quality sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
 Salt & pepper, to taste

INSTRUCTIONS

1. Boil a large pot of generously-salted water.
2. Meanwhile, heat the butter in a separate large sauté pan until melted.
3. Add the garlic and sauté for 1 minute, stirring occasionally. Then add butternut squash & vegetable stock, stir to combine. Continue cooking until the stock reaches a simmer. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook for 10 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the squash mashes easily with a fork.
4. Transfer the squash mixture to a blender. Add in the milk and give the mixture a quick stir. Slightly open the cap on the blender lid, so that excess steam can escape, pulse until smooth.
5. Add the pasta to the boiling water (cook until al dente, drain).
6. While the pasta is cooking, return the butternut squash mixture back to the sauté pan over medium-high heat. Add in the shredded cheddar cheese, and stir until melted.
7. Taste and season the sauce with salt and pepper.
8. Once the pasta is drained, return it to the stockpot. Pour the butternut cheese sauce on top of the pasta, toss to combine.

Recipe adapted from [https://www.gimmesomeoven.com/butternut-squash-mac-cheese/]