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This easy stovetop mac and cheese recipe uses Barilla Penne Pasta, butternut squash, and sharp cheddar cheese to give the classic comfort food a fall dinner twist! When paired with Clos du Bois Chardonnay, this meal is outstanding!
I’ve discovered that the best way to get through Monday (besides chocolate) is to have creamy, cheesy comfort food for dinner. It should probably be a law that all Monday’s should conclude with something like mac and cheese (aka the comfort food superior to all other foods).
We could even call it something super cheesy (ha. ha.) like Mac and Cheese Monday! Of course, this particular mac and cheese recipe is all dolled up for fall, so it wouldn’t just be any Mac and Cheese Monday, it’d be a Butternut Squash kind of Mac and Cheese Monday.
Come on. You’ve got to admit, it’s pretty catchy! I’m totally making this a thing.
Besides the butternut squash, what jazzes this dish up is the use of penne pasta. I happen to love penne in mac and cheese, because I feel like the cheesy sauce sticks to the pasta better than with traditional macaroni. Barilla Penne Pasta, besides being the number 1 choice of Italy, is a wholesome, quality pasta that is super simple to make! It adds a ton of flavor to this dish and holds up well with the creamy cheese sauce.
Additionally, this Penne Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese pairs extremely well with a glass of Clos du Bois Chardonnay. Made in California in the French way, this wine is bright, refreshing, and absolutely perfect for entertaining during the holidays. It’s an approachable yet elegant wine that is an incredible value!
My favorite part about this meal is how simple it actually is to put together from start to finish. The creaminess of the butternut squash adds flavor and texture to the traditional cheese sauce while also giving the pasta a richness that gives this comfort food a fall touch.
Between the pasta and the wine, this meal feels elegant and classy without having to exert much energy in the kitchen. It’s a fabulous meal for entertaining, because it’s simple and effortlessly feeds a crowd!
Comfort food. To the max.
- 16 oz Barilla Penne Pasta
- 4 Tbsp butter
- 4 Tbsp all purpose flour
- 2 cups milk
- 1 1/2 cups sharp cheddar cheese grated
- 2 cups butternut squash cooked
- 1 tsp black pepper
- 1 1/2 tsp salt
- parsley flakes optional topping
- Clos du Bois Chardonnay
- Cook the pasta to the box's specifications in a large pot. Drain and return to the pot. Add in cooked butternut squash; stir. Set aside (the heat from the pasta will start to soften the butternut squash).
- In a medium saucepan, melt butter over medium-low heat. Add in flour, and whisk until it forms a roux. Continue to whisk constantly for about 1 minute (this will cook out the taste of the flour).
- Add in milk, slowly, whisking constantly. Once the milk and the roux have been mixed together, turn the heat to low, and whisk the mixture for 4-5 minutes, until it has thickened. Remove from the heat and add in cheese, stirring until melted. Add in salt and pepper. Stir.
- Add the cheese sauce to the pasta and butternut squash, and heat on low for 10 minutes (or until well heated through), stirring occasionally. The butternut squash will begin to cook down, adding to the creaminess of the sauce.
- Serve immediately, and top with parsley, if desired. Pair with Clos du Boise Chardonnay.