Roasted Acorn Squash Mac & Cheese Bowls
Thanksgiving is one of my favourite holidays. October is not only a beautiful harvest month but its a time to gather family and friends together to give thanks and enjoy a beautiful meal! These Roasted Acorn Squash Mac & Cheese Bowls make a beautiful addition to your fall harvest table. Go a little untraditional and serve them as a thanksgiving side or enjoy them on their own anytime. They are creamy and filled with smoked cheddar, gruyere, roasted squash & garlic and fresh thyme and make a delicious comfort food!
Happy Thanksgiving to all of you!
4 medium size acorn squash, halved lengthwise
1 large head whole garlic
olive oil for drizzling
1 tsp kosher salt
1 tsp fresh ground pepper
454 g medium pasta shells
3 tbsp unsalted butter
3 tbsp all-purpose flour
2 cups whole milk or 2 %
1 tbsp yellow mustard
1 tbsp fresh thyme leaves
1tsp kosher salt
1 tsp freshly ground pepper
1 1/2 cup smoked cheddar, grated
1 1/2 cup gruyere cheese, grated
1/3 cup seasoned bread crumbs
1/3 cup grated parmigiano reggiano cheese
Preheat oven to 400 F. Line a large baking sheet with parchment paper.
With a spoon, clean out the seeds and string parts of the acorn squash. Place on baking sheet and sprinkle with olive oil and season with salt and pepper.
For the garlic, cut top of whole garlic to just expose the tops of the cloves, about a 1/4 inch. Drizzle opening with a little olive oil and wrap with foil. Place pan baking sheet with squash and roast in the oven for 25-30 minutes until squash has just softened and caramelized. Remove baking sheet from oven and let cool. Using a spoon, gently remove about 2 tbsp of the squash from inside each squash bowl, being very careful to keep it in tacked as you will be stuffing it and place it in a bowl. Keep the squash bowls on the baking sheet until ready to stuff. Remove garlic from foil and its skin and whisk it into the bowl with the squash.
Bring a large pot of water to a rolling boil, season with 1 tsp of salt and add pasta. Cook until el dente but still firm. Drain pasta and place it back in the pot.
In a large deep sauce pan, melt butter over medium heat. Whisk in flour and continue whisking until mixture has turned golden. Whisk in the milk and remove any lumps. Cook until slightly thicken, about 5 minutes. Add in squash mixture, mustard, thyme and salt and paper. Whisk until smooth and slightly thicken. Add grated cheese and continue whisking until cheese has melted and mixture is creamy. Pour mixture into the pot with the paste shells and mix well.
Preheat oven to 375F.
Oven will preheat quickly as it is still warm from prior.
Divide Mac & Cheese mixture amongst the 8 squash bowls on the backing sheet, don't worry about over stuffing.
Drizzle breadcrumbs and parmigiano cheese on top of each stuffed squash. Place in oven and bake for 20 minutes until cheese and tops are golden.
Makes 8 servings