Butternut Squash Mac ‘n Cheese
Makes 12 Servings
The base for this mac is very similar to that of the mixed mushroom version I borrowed from Barefoot Contessa. I used two types of cheddar, one creamy and orange, one white and sharp, and I added some spices when roasting the squash to offset its sweetness. Read the original post here.
For the Squash:
1 large butternut squash (about 2lb), peeled, seeded, and cut into 1-inch cubes
Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg
Pinch of cayenne pepper
For the Mac:
2 lb elbow macaroni
1 stick of butter
1 cup all-purpose flour
2 quarts whole milk, scalded
24 oz extra-sharp Cheddar, grated
16 oz mild orange Cheddar, grated
1 tsp ground nutmeg
1 tbsp salt
4 garlic cloves, chopped
¼ cup chopped sage leaves
3 cups fresh white bread crumbs
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
On a cookie sheet, toss the squash with nutmeg, cayenne, salt, and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast in the oven for 20 minutes, until the squash is tender and beginning to brown, but not falling apart.
In the meantime, make the white sauce. In a large pot, heat the butter over a medium flame until melted. Whisk in the flour until fully incorporated. Add the milk, turn the heat down to low, and cook, stirring occasionally with a wooden spoon until the sauce is thick, creamy, and coats the back of the spoon. Off the heat, mix in the cheese.
Cook the pasta according to package direction until 1 minute shy of al dente. Drain and add to the cheese mixture along with the squash.
Fold everything together carefully, and pour into one or two large baking dishes.
Pulse the garlic, sage, and bread crumbs in a food processor and sprinkle over the top of the pasta.
Bake in the oven for 30-40 minutes until the top is browned and the cheese is bubbling.