So of course there’s going to be plenty of cheese in this mac & cheese but there is also going to be a few extra special things in here too.
Grab yourself a butternut squash, peel it, slice it…
Scoop the seeds out then dice it.
Season your squash with a little salt and pepper, drizzle it with a little olive oil then pop it into a 400 degree oven for 25 minutes or until it is fork tender.
While your squash is roasting let’s get our cheese sauce going!
In a hot pot saute 3 oz of pancetta until it is nice and crispy then remove it from the pot.
What, you’ve never heard of a cheese sauce starting with pancetta? Well wouldn’t you know it, the best ones do!
While our pancetta is sauteing let’s go ahead and grate our cheese. Here I have 2 cups of sharp cheddar and 2 cups of creamy, earthy gruyere. Beautiful huh?
Gruyere can be a little on the spendy side so if you want to go all cheddar that’s perfectly alright with me!
Back to the the same pot you sauteed your pancetta in throw in 6 tablespoons of butter.
Once it has melted let it continue to cook for a few more minutes over medium heat until it has developed a light brown hue and has a slightly nutty aroma. Browning your butter will add a nice warm flavor to your cheese sauce.
To your brown butter whisk in 1/2 a cup of flour.
Whisk that around for a minute or so…
Time to whisk in 6 cups of milk!
If you wanted to replace one of those cups of milk with a cup of cream I don’t think anybody would mind…
Season your milk with a little salt, pepper and just a pinch of nutmeg. You don’t want anybody to know it’s in there, but you’ll want them to wonder what is in there!
Bring this pot to a boil but keep an eye on it, you don’t want the bottom of the pot to burn. Burnt milk is the worst!
Slowly add your cheddar…
Now time for the gruyere!!
Once your cheese is all smooth and melted take it off the heat.
Now try with all of your might to stop eating it by the spoonful!
Before I forget let’s mix up a quick topping for our mac and cheese.
In a bowl combine a cup of bread crumbs, a touch of salt and a few tablespoons of olive oil. Give that a good stir!
Boil a pot of elbow macaroni, drain it then place it in a prepared baking dish.
Remember your roasted butternut squash? Go ahead and add that it to your macaroni.
Don’t forget that lovely pancetta that has been patiently waiting for this moment.
See, I told you this mac and cheese was going to have few extra special things in it.
Now slowly add in all of your cheese sauce. Yes, all of it!
Don’t worry, it will thicken up once it’s all baked.
Sprinkle your olive oil breadcrumbs on top then pop this into a 400 degree oven for 20 – 30 minutes or until it’s all bubbly and…
Looks like this!
Melted cheese and macaroni, truly a powerful thing!
- 1 butternut squash diced and roasted
- 3 oz pancetta
- 2 cups of sharp cheddar
- 2 cups of gruyere
- 6 tablespoons butter
- 1/2 cup flour
- 6 cups of whole milk
- pinch nutmeg
- salt, pepper to taste
- 1 cup bread crumbs
- 1 box elbow macaroni