I mean, because Monday just NEEDS cheese and carbs.
Especially Mondays in November. It’s cold and the days are short (so short!), and well, this is comfort food season! AKA – my very favorite season!
Okok, but in all seriousness here. How cute are these baked squash mac and cheese? I’m dying over them, as in they are my favorite…and not just because they’re cute, but because they are delicious. I mean, that’s kind of obvious though right? Do you see the cheese just clinging to that pasta, and bubbling out over those squash bowls?!
Oh my gosh, SO GOOD.
Think sweet roasted squash stuffed with the cheesiest of mac and cheese and then topped with sourdough and crispy prosciutto breadcrumbs. And how cute would these be on the Thanksgiving table, or served at a holiday party? They’re the perfect dish to WOW your guests, trust me. I mean, again, do you see all the cheese and pasta happening here?
So seeing as it is Monday, I feel like I need to give you guys a little story to go along with all this cheese and pasta. The reason this mac and cheese came to be was really kind of stupid. I had over three gallons of goat milk in the fridge and was trying to think of savory recipes that would require a lot of milk.
The amount of goat milk in my fridge right now is beyond insane. We milk the three milking goats once a day, and it gives us just over a gallon…we really love goat milk, but it’s kind of a lot to drink and cook with, especially without any of the brothers here right now.
Saturday was my first time milking all three goats. My dad was off duty down in Denver (but not really off duty since he was totally hunting for props for me…ooops) and I was on goat watch. This meant that I had to milk all three goats for the first time. I’ve only ever had to milk just one, so I was kind of nervous to do all three. Guys, it’s no joke, milking three goats is a lot of work, and yes, my hands totally cramped on me, but it was also easier than I thought it was going to be. Probably because I was really dreading it, but whatever, I got it done! Then I played with the kids for a bit and continued on my way…down to Target to grab some Christmas goodies for an upcoming shoot…excited!
Anyway, my point was that we have tons of goat milk, and of course mac and cheese was just the way to use it up.
So I gathered up all the cheese in the fridge (literally) and made one of the yummiest mac and cheese I may have ever made. I’ve been wanting to stuff squash or mini pumpkins all autumn long, so clearly this seemed like the perfect opportunity.
You can use acorn squash, mini pumpkins or any of the fun and different squash in the stores right now. Kobocha is my current favorite!
The mac and cheese is as simple as can be. I used a combo of cheddar, gruyere, and provolone and it’s just as heavenly as it sounds. Then I topped it off with some crispy prosciutto and bread crumbs, and literally said YUMMMMMMM as I was sliding everything into the oven.
The great thing is that stuffing the pasta inside the squash keeps it from drying out. It also keeps the pasta all hot and melty…perfect for every single bite, as it acts as its own little thermos. Plus, I kind of think that squash is a delicious pairing with this cheesy mac!
Baked Squash Mac and Cheese.
- 4-6 small acorn squash or pie pumpkins
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- kosher salt + pepper
- 4 slices thin prosciutto
- 4 slices sourdough bread pulsed into fine crumbs
- 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1 small sweet onion thinly sliced
- 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
- 1 pound short cut pasta
- 3 cups whole milk
- 1 1/2 cups shredded white cheddar cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded gruyere cheese
- 1 1/2 cups shredded provolone cheese
- 2 teaspoons dijon mustard
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper more or less to taste
Preheat the over to 400 degrees F.
Remove the tops of the squash and scoop out the seeds. Rub the insides of the pumpkins with olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a baking sheet. Lay the prosciutto flat on the baking sheet next to the squashes. Transfer to the oven and bake for 10 minutes or until the prosciutto is crisp. Remove the prosciutto from the pan and continue baking the squash another 10-20 minutes or just until tender to touch but not falling in.
Add the crisp prosciutto and bread to a food processor and pulse until fine crumbs form. Melt 2 tablespoon butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the crumbs and cook until lightly toasted, about 5 minutes. Stir in the sage and cook another 30 seconds. Spoon the crumbs out onto a plate. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions. Drain.
Melt the remaining 4 tablespoons butter in the same pot used for the crumbs. Add the onions and cook until caramelized, about 10 minutes. Whisk in the flour. Reduce the heat to medium-low and let cook/bubble for 1 minute, stirring once or twice to avoid burning. Gradually whisk in the milk, whisking until combined. Raise the heat up to medium-high. Bring the mixture to a boil, whisking frequently until the sauce has thickened, about 2-3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in all of the cheese, mustard, cayenne, salt, and pepper. Stir until the cheese is fully melted (if needed, return the pot to the heat to fully melt the cheese). Stir in the pasta. Spoon the mac and cheese into the roasted squash bowls, you may have leftover mac and cheese depending on the size of your squash. Sprinkle on the bread crumbs over and transfer to the oven. Bake for 15-20 minutes or until the crumbs are golden brown and the sauce is bubbling. Remove from the oven...dig in!!
I’ll take the whole squash please!