Recipe by Simply Scratch, shared by My Saratoga Kitchen Table
*Ingredients currently available at the farmers’ market
● sea salt for the pasta water
● olive oil spray for baking dish
● 16 ounces dry pasta, rigatoni, or your favorite pasta
● 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
● 1 large shallot*, finely minced
● 2 cloves of garlic*, minced
● 10 fresh sage leaves, minced
● 3 Tablespoons all-purpose flour
● 1 cup chicken broth
● 1½ cups half and half
● pinch of kosher salt, plus more or less to taste
● freshly ground black pepper to taste
● ⅛ teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg
● 1½ cups homemade roasted butternut squash* puree
● 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
● 1¼ cups shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese*, divided
1. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil and spray a large casserole dish with cooking spray. Cook the pasta according to the package directions.
2. Melt butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. Add in the shallot and garlic. Sauté until soft, about 2 – 3 minutes. Then add the fresh sage and stir, cooking for 1 minute.
3. Sprinkle in the flour and whisk, cooking the flour for 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Next whisk in the chicken broth and half & half. Season with a small pinch of salt, lots of freshly ground black pepper, and nutmeg. Heat over medium-low, whisking occasionally until the sauce has thickened about 4 to 5 minutes.
5. Reduce the heat to low and add the butternut squash puree, parmesan, and ¼ cup of the cheddar cheese. Whisk until smooth.
6. After the pasta is cooked, drain the pasta and transfer it to the cheese sauce. Toss to combine.
7. Move the oven rack to the highest position in the oven and preheat the broiler to high.
8. Pour the pasta into the prepared casserole dish and sprinkle with the remaining cup of cheddar cheese. Slide the pan under the broiler for 3 to 4 minutes or until the cheese is melted and is light golden brown in spots.
Notes: To make butternut squash puree, you need 1 butternut squash, olive oil, and kosher salt. Wash and pat dry the squash. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. With a sharp knife, trim off the ends and cut in half lengthwise. Brush with olive oil. Place the squash halves cut-side down on a rimmed baking sheet. Roast on a rack placed in the middle of the oven for 40 to 60 minutes. Allow to cool enough to handle. With a spoon scoop out the flesh and place it in the food processor. Puree until smooth.