Pompilio’s Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce MAC and Cheese

We love nothing more than a cool fall afternoon or evening in the kitchen with the butternut squash roasting in the ovens and the spices and cream simmering on the stove top. Butternut Squash Sauce is warm and lusty and by combining it with pasta, Italian cheeses and spices you can make all types of satisfying dishes.

One of our favorites around this time, and perfect for Thanksgiving Dinner, is a Butternut Squash MAC and Cheese. This is a rich, creamy, wholesome dish that will satisfy everyone and more importantly the vegetarian who often times get snubbed this time of year.

Locate a jar of Pompilio’s Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce at any of these great grocery stores https://pompilios.com/about-our-sauces/ or you can order a case online and have it shipped to wherever you might live.

Enjoy and Salute!

Pompilio’s Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce MAC and Cheese

Serves: 8 – 10 servings

INGREDIENTS

• 1 pound of dried pasta (Penne Rigate or Conchiglie pasta preferred)
• Kosher salt
• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter
• 1/2 onion, finely chopped
• 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
• 4 tablespoons of flour
• 2 cups milk or Almond milk, at room temperature
• 2 cups (8 ounces) cheese. We use a blend of Provolone, Pepperjack, and Asiago in the restaurant.
• 2 Jars Pompilio’s Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce
• 1/4 teaspoon grated nutmeg
• 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper, plus more to taste

For the breadcrumb topping:

• 2 cups fresh Italian Bread or Breadcrumbs
• 1 1/2 tablespoons of dried parsley, basil, oregano
• 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan cheese
• 2 tablespoons melted unsalted butter
• Kosher salt
• Freshly ground black pepper

INSTRUCTIONS
1. Cook pasta in a large pot of salted, boiling water, and drain. Save 1 cup of pasta water and set aside. Preheat an oven to 375°F and set an oven rack in the middle position.
2. Melt butter in a large skillet over medium heat, then add the onion, garlic and a pinch of salt. Cook, stirring occasionally, until onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in the flour and cook for 3 minutes, then stir in the milk and cook until just starting to thicken (about 3 minutes). Take the sauce off the heat, then stir in the cheese until fully incorporated. **Use the Pasta water when needed to loosen and flavor the mix** Add Pompilio’s Butternut Squash Pasta Sauce, nutmeg and black pepper, stirring to combine. **Add more cheese if sauce feels loose** Season to taste with kosher salt.
3. Pour cheese sauce into the bowl with the cooked shells until the macaroni is sufficiently coated in sauce. You may not use all the sauce (I had a little leftover). Using a spatula, transfer pasta and sauce into a 9″ x 13″ baking dish.
4. Combine breadcrumbs, Italian seasoning, Parmesan cheese and melted butter in a medium bowl, tossing until crumbs are evenly coated in the butter. Season with a pinch of kosher salt and black pepper. Sprinkle breadcrumb topping evenly over the pasta and cheese. Bake in the oven until the breadcrumbs are golden brown and sauce bubbles around the edges (25 – 30 minutes). Let cool 10 – 15 minutes before serving.

NOTES
* You can prepare the MAC and cheese up to a day in advance up to step 3. Cover and store in the refrigerator until ready to bake. Let come to room temperature then continue on with step 4.