Healthy “Macaroni” and Cheese

Ingredients
Fat-free cooking spray
1 lb. whole wheat pasta (I prefer using rotini – my daughter’s favorite)
2 (12-oz.) packages frozen pureed butternut squash
2 cups 1% lowfat milk
6 oz. shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese (about 2 cups)
½ cup part-skim ricotta cheese
3 cups steamed broccoli florets (pureed until finely chopped)
1 tsp salt
1 tsp powdered mustard
⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
½ cup whole wheat Cheez-Its, crushed

Directions
Preheat your oven to 375 F. Spray a 9×13-inch baking pan with cooking spray. Next, bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the rotini and cook until al dente (tender but firm; roughly 9-10 minutes). Drain the pasta and set aside.

Next, place the frozen squash and milk into a large pot and cook over a low heat. Stir to break up the squash until defrosted. Turn the heat up to medium and cook until the mixture is almost simmering, stirring occasionally to prevent the bottom from burning. Remove the pan from heat and stir in the cheddar cheese, ricotta cheese, broccoli, salt, mustard and cayenne pepper. Add pasta to the cheese mixture and mix until all the pasta is coated. Transfer the pasta and cheese mixture to your prepared baking dish.

Sprinkle crushed whole wheat Cheez-Its over the top of the pasta and cheese. Bake for 20 minutes. Then broil for 3 minutes, until top is crisp and lightly browned.

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