How to make baked four-cheese butternut squash rigatoni

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It might seem like there's no possible way to improve sinfully creamy mac and cheese⁠—but there is, and the answer is vegetables! It sounds crazy, but it's true: Butternut squash actually makes the recipe below even more satisfying, thanks to the touch of sweetness it brings. When roasted, butternut squash takes on an light and silky texture that's the perfect foil for four decadent cheeses.
Of course, butternut squash also ups the health factor of this dish. It's rich in beta carotene, lending this dish its bright orange color. It may become your kids' favorite way to eat all their veggies!
Cooktop Cove
Baked four-cheese butternut squash rigatoni
10 minutes
50 minutes
1 hour
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon salt
1 pound rigatoni
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons flour
2 cups whole milk
4 ounces sharp cheddar cheese, shredded
3/4 cup Parmesan, divided
4 ounces gorgonzola, crumbled
4 ounces goat cheese, crumbled
1/2 cup breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons melted butter
1 teaspoon fresh thyme leaves, chopped
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
Toss the butternut squash, olive oil, and salt together. Place in a single layer on a baking sheet, and roast for 20 minutes, or until slightly caramelized. Set in a bowl.
Cook the rigatoni according to package directions. Drain and toss with the cooked butternut squash.
Heat the butter over low heat in a saucepan. Add the flour and whisk together, cooking until the mixture just begins to bubble and turn lightly blond.
Add the milk by the 1/4-cupful, whisking well after each addition. Bring to a slight simmer, whisking continuously, and cook until the sauce is thick enough to coat a wooden spoon. Remove from the heat.
Whisk in the cheddar and half of the Parmesan until smooth.
Pour the sauce into the bowl with the pasta and the squash. Toss with a wooden spoon until well coated.
Add the gorgonzola and goat cheese, tossing to combine but ensuring that some chunks of cheese remain.
Pour the mixture into a 9x13 casserole dish.
In a small bowl, combine the breadcrumbs, butter, thyme leaves, and remaining Parmesan. Sprinkle over the top of the casserole.
Bake for 20 minutes, or until bubbly and brown.
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