Acorn Squash and Asiago-Béchamel Mac & Cheese
- ½ Acorn Squash-roasted & diced
- 2 garlic cloves, halved, divided
- ½ cup Panko (Japanese breadcrumbs)
- 3 tablespoons unsalted butter, room temperature, divided
- 5 tablespoons flour
- 2 cups whole Milk
- Salt & pepper
- ¼ cup Parmesan
- 1 cup Grated Asiago cheese
- 1 & ½ cups grated white/yellow cheese blend
- 1 cup (packed) coarsely grated whole-milk mozzarella
- 8 ounces medium shell pasta
- Combine 5 tablespoons flour, 3 tablespoons butter, & 2 cups whole milk (for Béchamel). Mix will cheeses once cooked & thickened.
- Slice Acorn Squash into ½ inch slices. Coat with salt & pepper, and red pepper flakes. Roast for 25 minutes at 375 degrees. Cool & cut into small bite sizes pieces.
- Cook pasta shells according to directions on box, drain, rinse & set aside.
- Toast panko in skillet over medium-high heat until golden, stirring often, 5 to 6 minutes. Transfer to bowl; cool to lukewarm. Rub 1 tablespoon butter into crumbs to coat. Mix in 1/4 cup Parmesan.
- Mince garlic, and sauté over medium heat with butter. Add flour, making a roux. Add milk, & mix consistently, until all lumps are gone, and roux is silky and smooth. Continue to cook over medium heat until sauce starts to thicken. Turn off heat & add Asiago, Mozzarella, & ½ cup cheese blend. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
- Preheat oven to 400°F. Butter large baking dish. Spoon pasta into dish. Stir sauce, remaining cheese & squash into pasta. Sprinkle with crumb topping.
- Bake pasta until topping is crisp and sauce is bubbling, about 25 minutes.