This is the macaroni and cheese of your dreams!
I realize that is a hefty claim, but I will back it up.
Just look at those photos! If those photos don’t make a strong case for making up a big batch and curling up with a piping hot bowl, then I don’t know what would.
I’m not sure what I love more, the recipe or the accompanying photos. I’ve mentioned before that I am still getting the hang of food photography, and when I get great photos of a dish, it’s even more exciting to share the recipe with you!
To begin with, a little fact about my cooking style: there are so many ingredients, techniques, recipes, and ideas that I want to try out in the kitchen that I don’t make many recipes more than once. Even if I love it, I’ll probably get excited by something else and won’t make it again for a long time, if ever. This is the second time I’ve made this dish, and it made so much I even have an extra pan for later in the week.
Having enough extra that I can put away an entire pan for a later meal makes me feel like such a responsible adult.
So why is this the macaroni and cheese of your dreams?
Well, exhibit A, the photos:
But this macaroni and cheese is incredible. Mac and cheese has always been my favorite comfort food. My mom has mentioned before that she craved mac and cheese often while she was pregnant with me, and I think the two things are related. I am a big fan of homemade mac and cheese—I believe everything is better homemade—but occasionally, I will eat boxed mac and cheese to satisfy my inner child.
Butternut squash is one of my absolute favorite fall vegetables. I try to keep it on hand all the time—I’ll either cut up a squash and keep it in the fridge, ready to roast or sauté; or I’ll roast up the squash to quickly add it to whatever I’m making. I love it with farro and kale, but I think my favorite is actually in a frittata. Seriously! Roasted or sautéed, it’s really delicious with eggs and a little parmesan.
Many of the recipes I make are somewhat spontaneous—I may have an idea of what I’d like to make, but I’ll be looking through the fridge or pantry and find ingredients to add unexpectedly.
That’s how gorgonzola came to top this macaroni & cheese: I had it on hand and wanted to experiment with a cheese that would complement the cheddar. It is the perfect addition: it’s tart and creamy, but doesn’t overpower the dish.
The ultimate comfort food: creamy cheddar macaroni and cheese with soft, roasted butternut squash and creamy gorgonzola. It definitely doesn’t get any better than this!
Roasted Butternut Squash & Gorgonzola Mac & Cheese
- 1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1” pieces
- ¼ cup olive oil
- 1 tablespoon dried thyme
- 1 cup white cheddar cheese
- 1 cup yellow cheddar cheese
- ¼ cup flour
- ¼ cup butter
- 1 ½ cups milk
- 1 pound cavatappi pasta, cooked according to package directions
- 4-6 ounces gorgonzola cheese
- Salt and pepper
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss the butternut squash with olive oil, salt and pepper, and thyme, then spread on a baking sheet. Roast until squash is softened and golden on the edges, 40-45 minutes.
In a large saucepan, melt the butter over medium-high heat and whisk in the flour to create a roux. Add in the cheddar cheeses and milk and gently continue to whisk to combine. When the cheese is melted and smooth, add in the squash and pasta, and gently stir to combine.
Grease a 9” by 13” baking dish, and pour the macaroni and cheese mixture in. Sprinkle with gorgonzola cheese and bake for 20 minutes, until the gorgonzola has softened and the pasta is turning golden. Serve and enjoy!
One more, for good measure.