Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cook Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
4 acorn squash
Pumpkin Spice Cheese Sauce
1 ½ tablespoons unsalted butter
2 shallots, sliced
4 cloves of garlic, minced
1 teaspoon red chili flakes
1 tablespoon fresh thyme, picked from the stems
1 teaspoon fresh sage, sliced
1 tablespoon all purpose flour
2 ½ cups 2% milk
1 cup pumpkin purée
2 tablespoons Dijon mustard
2 cups white cheddar, shredded
1 ½ cups gouda, shredded
450 g short pasta, like rotelle
1 cup gouda, shredded
4 tablespoons panko bread crumbs
Salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
1. Preheat the oven to 350°F (180°C)
2. Prepare the acorn squash by slicing a tiny bit from the bottom of each in order for them to stand properly on a baking sheet without tipping over.
3. Cut the tops of each squash off by slicing about 1 inch from the top to create a lid. Scoop the seeds and pulp from the middle of the squash with a spoon and discard it. You can use a small paring knife to trim back the opening to the squash so you can fit more mac’n’cheese later!
4. Place all four prepared acorn squash on a baking tray with their lids and season the inside of the raw squash with salt and pepper to taste.
5. In a large saucepan, heat 1 ½ tablespoon of butter medium-low heat.
6. Add 2 sliced shallots, 4 minced cloves of garlic and sauté for 2-3 minutes until soft. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
7. Add 1 teaspoon red chili flakes, 1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves, 1 teaspoon sliced fresh sage and sauté for another 1-2 minutes.
8. Add 1 tablespoon of all-purpose flour and allow it to cook for 2 minutes before adding 2 ½ cups of milk and stirring everything together until it begins to simmer and thicken up – approximately 5 minutes.
9. Add 1 cup pumpkin puree, 2 tablespoons of Dijon mustard and stir everything together until uniform.
10. Turn off the heat and add 2 cups of shredded white cheddar cheese and 1 ½ cups of shredded gouda cheese and stir until melted.
11. In a second large pot cook 450g of short pasta, like Rotelle, in well salted water for 2/3’s the time is says on the package.
12. Drain the very al dente pasta and add it to your Pumpkin Spice Cheese Sauce before stirring everything together.
13. Spoon the cheesy pasta in to the four prepared acorn squash and top each with ¼ cup shredded gouda and 1 tablespoon of panko breadcrumbs.
14. Transfer the baking tray to the oven and bake for 1 hour and 15 minutes or until the squash is cooked and the panko breadcrumbs are golden brown.
15. Allow to cool for 5 minutes before serving. Enjoy!