The phrase “comfort food” conjures up thoughts of warm, hearty meals – but it might also mean long hours spent in the kitchen slaving away over the stove. That is not Eating Made Easy!
Luckily, many traditional recipes can be made much easier with a few alterations and the right equipment. To celebrate quicker comfort food, Kelly Ripa and Electrolux just launched a new Comfort Food Made Easy campaign, which features the ridiculously fast Electrolux Induction Cooktop (boils water in 90 seconds!) and benefits the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. During the campaign, food lovers everywhere can share and vote for their favorite comfort foods on Kelly-Confidential.com. Every time you share or vote for a recipe on Kelly Confidential, Electrolux will donate $1 to OCRF, and you’ll be entered to win a FREE ELECTROLUX INDUCTION COOKTOP!!!!! So head over and post or vote for your own favorite comfort food.
Here’s one of my own favorites that can be made in a flash. It’s one of the classic comfort foods – Mac and Cheese – but a faster and healthier version that utilizes one of fall’s best veggies: butternut squash. I recommend just steaming (you can even do it in the microwave) then pureeing the squash in the blender or food processor.
Don’t have squash on hand or want to make this dish even faster? Use frozen pureed squash or canned pumpkin.
All you do for this recipe is make a simple cheese sauce while the noodles are boiling away. Add the squash, drain and add the noodles to the sauce, then toss and you’re done!
Enjoy! Can’t wait to see all of your favorite comfort foods on Kelly Confidential!
- 12 ounces Elbow Macaroni
- 1 Yellow or Brown Onion, finely chopped
- 8 ounces White Mushrooms, sliced
- 2 tablespoons Butter
- 1 pinch Ground Nutmeg
- 1 ½ cups Butternut Squash, pureed
- 14 ounces Evaporated Skim Milk, 1 can
- 2 tablespoons All Purpose Flour
- 1 ½ cups Sharp Cheddar Cheese, shredded
- ¼ cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
- Prepare noodles according to package directions, making sure to liberally salt the pasta water. Leave pasta in the strainer and return pot to the stove.
- In the pasta pot, saute onion and mushrooms in the butter (with generous pinch of salt & small pinch of pepper) over medium heat until onions soften (5-8 min), stirring occasionally.
- Add the flour to the pot and stir mixture for about a minute, then add full can of evaporated milk and whisk for ~3 minutes or until mixture has thickened a bit. Add squash puree to pot and whisk to combine, then add cheeses and pinch of nutmeg and continue mix until sauce is smooth.
- Return the noodles to the pot and gently fold into the sauce with a spatula or wooden spoon.