Harvest Moon Macaroni

Full Harvest Moon of September Is Peaking Now

This month’s special full moon gets its name because its appearance low in the southeastern sky for several nights historically afforded farmers extra time for harvesting crops. Before the invention of electricity, farmers relied on bright moonlight in the late summer to gather their ripening crops after sunset.

For the past couple nights the moon has been well positioned in the sky as it heads into the full moon Sunday night (Sept. 11, 2011), with the peak coming on Monday (Sept. 12, 2011) at 5:27 a.m. EDT (0927 GMT).

Harvest Moon Macaroni

1 lb macaroni
2 Tbs extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
2 Tbs fresh thyme, finely chopped
3 Tbs butter
3 Tbs all-purpose four
1 cup chicken stock
1½ cups whole milk
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Nutmeg, grated to taste
10 oz box frozen butternut squash, defrosted
A few dashes hot sauce
1 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
1 cup extra-sharp yellow Cheddar
A handful fresh parsley leaves, finely chopped
1 tsp sweet paprika

Bring water to a boil, season with salt and cook macaroni to al dente.

Preheat broiler and place rack in middle of the oven.

Heat the extra-virgin olive oil in a sauce pot over medium heat, saute onions and garlic until soft, 6 to 7 minutes and stir in the thyme.

Scoot onions off to side of pan and melt butter, whisk flour into butter and combine whisk 1 minute then whisk in stock and milk, season sauce with salt, pepper and nutmeg, and cook until thickened, about 3 to 4 minutes.

Stir in butternut squash and a few dashes hot sauce. Reduce heat. When sauce comes to a bubble, stir in Parmigiano. Combine the sauce and macaroni, transfer to a casserole dish and top with shredded yellow Cheddar, chopped parsley and paprika. Brown the macaroni under broiler, 4 to 5 minutes until brown and bubbly.

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