Let us continue on with the gourd theme, shall we?
First we brought you a hearty pumpkin baked oatmeal to warm up the chilly fall mornings. Next, we created a delicious roasted squash salad, perfect for lunch or a light supper. And lastly, a pumpkin seed bread that is great any time of day.
But sometimes, all you need is a large plate of comfort food – and that for me, is always something cheesy. And what better than mac and cheese to fill that comfort food void.
And this is so much better than your ordinary bowl of KD (although my husband may beg to differ). Loaded with our favourite gourd, squash, and lots of other roasted fall veggies – you can even call this a recipe makeover.
The cheese sauce is your basic flour, butter, and milk roux. Once combined, slowly adding your cheese in batches makes for easy melting and a luscious and very creamy sauce. Skim milk and strong cheeses helps keep the fat in check, and trust me, you will not be missing that orange powdered package one bit!
And, as if this dish couldn’t get any better, it’s a make-ahead and freezable meal. Can you imagine anything better than coming home to this for dinner? I don’t think so.
So yes, I think it is a good idea to continue on with the squash and pumpkin love over here. With some cheesy goodness thrown in for good measure, comfort food at it’s best!
Roasted Fall Vegetable Pasta Bake
Adapted from How Sweet Eats
- 1 box (about 1 pound) whole wheat rotini (or other short pasta)
- 1/2 butternut squash (peeled and cubed)
- 1 onion (chopped)
- 1 cauliflower (chopped)
- 2 cups brussels sprouts (sliced)
- 1 apple (chopped)
- 1 red pepper (chopped)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 tbsp honey
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1 tbsp flour
- 2 cups skim milk
- 1 1/2 cups grated gouda cheese (or cheese of your choice)
- 3/4 cups grated parmesan (divided)
- 1/2 cup panko bread crumbs
This make ahead casserole can also be frozen whole or as individual servings. Feel free to substitute some of your favourite veggies - broccoli, mushrooms, and kale would all work great. You could also change up the gouda for a nice sharp or smoked cheddar or keep it simple with mozzarella. Whatever you do, DO NOT leave out the crunchy top!
||Preheat oven to 425 degrees and line two baking sheets with parchment paper. |
||Place squash, apple, and pepper on one baking sheet and toss with 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp honey, and salt and pepper. Place brussels sprouts, onion, and cauliflower on second baking sheet and toss with remaining 1/2 tbsp olive oil, 1/2 tbsp honey, and salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 30 minutes. Set aside. |
||Meanwhile, cook pasta according to package directions and drain and set aside. |
||Heat a heavy pot over medium heat and melt butter. Add flour and stir to create a roux (ie. until flour and butter are incorporated and flour starts to cook). |
||Reduce heat to medium low and slowly add milk, whisking at the same time. Then add the gouda and 1/2 cup of parmesan in batches (took me about 4), and whisk in between to melt the cheese into the sauce. |
||Once sauce is thick and cheese is melted, pour over pasta and veggies, stirring until everything is coated. Pour into a 9 x 13 pyrex that has been sprayed with cooking spray. Top with panko and remaining 1/4 cup of parmesan and bake at 400 for about 30 minutes. |