Mac N' Cheese with Butternut Squash

Butternut Squash Mac N'Cheese

adapted from Stacey Snacks via Cooking Light Magazine


Serves 6-8 


1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved
1 red onion, sliced 
3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled

1/2 lb. mushrooms, halved

1 butternut squash, peeled and cut up into cubes
about six slices of bacon 
olive oil
kosher salt 
hot pepper flakes 
12 oz. pasta 

1/4 cup Parmigiano Reggiano cheese

1/4 cup bread crumbs

2 T. butter

fresh sage leaves for garnish, optional

Sauce:

1 cup milk
2 cups of chicken stock
2 tbsp butter
1 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or your favorite cheese)
small bunch of sage leaves, chopped

Using 2 baking sheets, lay out the squash cubes, the brussels sprouts and the bacon. 
Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and kosher salt.

Roast in a 425F oven for 20-25 minutes, until the bacon is crispy.
If the bacon is crispy before the vegetables are tender, remove from the pan first.

On another pan, lay out the red onion slices and the 3 large unpeeled garlic cloves and the halved mushrooms. Drizzle w/ some olive oil and place the in the oven for about 15-20 minutes. 

Crumble the bacon and set aside. 
Remove the garlic cloves to a cutting board and set aside.

Using an 8" x 10" casserole pan, lay out the sprouts and cooked squash.
Using a fork or potato masher, mash down on the squash cubes to create a puree or mash. I like to leave some texture so I didn't make it a really smooth puree.

Add in the cooked onions, mushrooms and bacon pieces. Mix the vegetables together in the baking dish.

While your pasta is boiling, make the cheese sauce.

Smash the roasted garlic cloves with the back of a knife to remove the skins. Cut the garlic into pieces.

In a heavy saucepan, add the milk, roasted garlic cloves, cheese, butter, sage leaves and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and whisk until it is a nice even consistency, only a few minutes. It won't be really thick, but don't worry, once it's in the casserole, the other ingredients will absorb the sauce and thicken it.

Season the sauce with a pinch of salt, black pepper and hot pepper flakes.

When the pasta is done, drain and add to the casserole pan with the vegetables. Mix together.

Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and vegetables and mix together.

Melt the 2 T. butter and mix in the bread crumbs and parmesan cheese. Sprinkle on top of the casserole.

Lower the oven temperature to 375F.

Place casserole back into the oven for 20 more minutes, until everything is blended and melted and bread crumbs are browned.

Garnish with sage leaves, if desired.