Butternut Squash Mac & Cheese
I saw this recipe online and thought it looked great, but I just had to change it a little (I can't leave anything alone like that, it's not in me!!)
12 oz box of dried pasta cooked (I used bow ties)
1 1/2 pounds of butternut squash, peeled, seeded and cut into chunks (about 3 1/2 cups)
2 3/4 c. milk
1/4 c. all-purpose flour
8 ounces smoked Gruyere cheese, shredded (couldn't find so I used applewood smoked Gouda)
8 slices of bacon - cooked and crumbled - be sure to keep the grease and set pan aside to use later.
2 small sweet onions, peeled and coarse chopped (I used regular yellow onions)
1/4 c. panko bread crumbs
2 tbsp. butter, melted
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Spray 13" recangular baking dish with cooking spray and set aside.
In a large saucepan combine the squash and 2 1/2 cups cups of milk over a medium high heat. Bring to a boil and reduce the heat to medium and simmer until the squash is tender (about 18 minutes).
In the pan you cooked the bacon in and kept the grease, saute onions until transparent. Add the flour and mix together until well combined then add the remaining 1/4 cup of milk, stir until smooth then add the cooked squash and milk mixture and stir until thickened. Add bacon and half the grated cheese and stir well to combine. Then add the cooked pasta and combine. Pour the mixture into the baking dish.
Melt the butter and combine with the bread crumbs and mix with remaining grated cheese. Pour this over the top of the pasta.
Put dish in the oven and bake for about 15 - 20 minutes until top is browned and cheese is melted.
Serves about 8 (if you are lucky - not in my house)
I wonder about adding smoked paprika for seasoning or chipotle peppers.
This does not need salt, but pepper might be a nice addition.