Broccoli and Bacon Mac and Cheese (with Butternut Squash Puree)

I was interested in the idea of using butternut squash in mac and cheese (largely because I had a butternut squash from the CSA on hand). This wasn’t too sweet and did add some nice color, though we didn’t really eat the leftovers.

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2 center-cut bacon slices, chopped

3 garlic cloves, minced

2 cups unsalted chicken stock (such as Swanson)

1 cup 1% low-fat milk

1 (10-ounce) package frozen butternut squash puree, thawed (we used fresh puree)

10 ounce uncooked large elbow macaroni

3 cups chopped broccoli florets

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

5 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded and divided (about 1 1/4 cups)

Heat a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add bacon; cook 4 minutes or until crisp, stirring occasionally. Remove bacon from pan.

Remove all but 2 teaspoons bacon drippings from pan. Add garlic to ­drippings in pan; sauté 30 seconds.

Add stock, milk, and squash to pan; bring to a boil, stirring occasionally.

Add pasta; cover, ­reduce heat, and ­simmer 5 minutes, ­stirring occasionally. Stir in broccoli; cover and cook 3 minutes or until pasta is done and sauce is thickened.

Stir in salt, pepper, and 4 ounces cheese. Sprinkle bacon and remaining cheese on top. Cover; let stand 1 minute.

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