I cannot think of a single person that does not love mac and cheese. I don't mean the yellow powder in a packet type of macaroni and cheese either. Real mac and cheese is very easy to make and it does not take much more effort to take it up a level. My step son thinks that butternut squash mac and cheese is the best dinner ever and I usually need to make a larger batch when he is here. The best thing about this dish is that everyone can have it. Jake has to have meat with every dinner so I add in bacon. If you are a vegetarian you can leave out the bacon. If you are vegan, guess what, you do not even need to add the cheese and it still has that mac and cheese taste.
Pasta (Your choice, we like penne but you can go traditional macaroni)
1 medium butternut squash
bacon cut into pieces (we LOVE Llano Seco bacon)
2 tbs butter
1/2 tbs flour
2 cups of milk
1 cup shredded cheddar cheese
panic bread crumbs (you can use regular as well)
1.) Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Slice squash in half, drizzle olive oil on it and roast in oven. One helpful tip is to place whole squash in microwave first for about 5 minutes to make it softer and roast quicker.
2.) while squash is in the oven cook your bacon and pasta.When completed place bacon on paper towels to drain grease.
3.) Remove squash from oven. Melt butter in a saucepan. Add garlic and onion and sauté for several minutes. Add the 1/2 tbs of flour and mix with butter. Traditionally you would use equal parts butter and flour but the squash is so thick it will help thicken the sauce as well. Add the milk and whisk into the rue. Make sure the milk does not come to a hard boil and burn it. Keep it at a low boil for a couple minutes to thicken up.
4.) Scoop out the squash and place into a blender. Add the milk mixture. Blend together and return to saucepan. Heat it up again and then add both cheeses stirring until it is melted.
5.) Mix the pasta, cheese sauce and bacon together. Save a little bacon to sprinkle over the top. Pour into the casserole dish. Sprinkle bread crumbs over the top and the remaining bacon and place in the oven for 15 minutes just to get it nice and crispy on the top.