Butternut Squash and Sage Mac and Cheese

With the season of indulgence behind us, it’s time to be healthy, but we don’t want to sacrifice flavour. Mary Berg, in partnership with All-Clad Canada, has created this delicious recipe that adds some extra veggies and flavour to a classic.

Serves 6–8

1.25kg butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and diced into 1-inch chunks
2 tbsps olive oil
3 cups dry fusilli or penne
3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 ½ tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk, warmed in the microwave
¼ tsp ground nutmeg
½ cup soft goat cheese
¼ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 cup grated mozzarella cheese
¼ cup chopped fresh sage, divided
Kosher salt
Freshly ground black pepper

For the Topping:

¼ cup unsalted butter, melted
¾ cup panko breadcrumbs
½ cup finely grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese
1 tbsp finely chopped sage
½ tsp kosher salt
¼ tsp freshly ground black pepper

Preheat your oven to 400ºF.

Place the squash onto a large rimmed sheet pan and drizzle with the olive oil. Season with kosher salt and pepper, toss well, and roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until the squash is tender and just starting to brown, flipping once about halfway through roasting. Remove the squash from the oven and transfer about ¾ of the squash to a large bowl and give it a good mash; set aside to cool. Reserve the remaining roasted squash to mix in later.

Lower the oven to 375F and place a large pot of salted water to boil over high heat. When the water has come to a rolling boil, cook the noodles until al dente.

In a large sauté pan or electric skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of butter over medium heat and cook the onions until tender and slightly translucent, about 4 minutes. Add the garlic and season with some salt and pepper to taste. Cook for about 30 seconds just to soften the garlic.

Turn the heat down to low and add in the remaining butter.  Evenly sprinkle in the flour and whisk in. Cook the mixture for about 2 to 3 minutes, stirring constantly. Slowly whisk in the warmed milk and cook for a few minutes or until the mixture is smooth and thickened.

Add the mashed butternut squash to the sauce and whisk in. If the sauce seems a bit thick, whisk in a few more splashes of milk. Season the sauce with the nutmeg as well as a good amount of kosher salt and pepper. Whisk in the goat cheese, Parmigiano, and mozzarella. Using a wooden spoon or spatula, fold in the cooked pasta as well as the sage and remaining roasted butternut squash. If using a skillet, remove the pan from the heat and set aside. If using the electric skillet, transfer the mac and cheese to a lightly greased casserole dish and set aside.

In a small bowl, mix up the topping by combining the butter, panko, Parmigiano, sage, salt and pepper. Scatter the topping over the pasta and pop it into the preheated oven for 20 to 30 minutes or until the sauce is bubbly and the topping is golden brown.

Allow the mac and cheese to rest for 10 minutes before serving.