There’s nothing like the intense flavor of summer vegetables – juicy, red tomatoes, crunchy, sweet Jersey corn and more … but when autumn comes, I’m in love all over again with squash. This fall, I came back from Europe to a plethora of ripe butternut squash in the garden.
1 lb. Brussels sprouts, halved
1 red onion, sliced
3 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut up into cubes
about six slices of bacon
hot pepper flakes
12 oz. pasta
fresh sage leaves for garnish, optional
1 cup milk
2 cups of chicken stock
2 tbsp butter
1 cup of grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese (or your favorite cheese)
small bunch of sage leaves, chopped
Using 2 baking sheets, lay out the squash cubes, the brussels sprouts and the bacon.
Drizzle the veggies with olive oil and kosher salt.
If the bacon is crispy before the vegetables are tender, remove from the pan first.
On another pan, lay out the red onion slices and the 3 large unpeeled garlic cloves and the halved mushrooms. Drizzle w/ some olive oil and place the in the oven for about 15-20 minutes.
Crumble the bacon and set aside.
Remove the garlic cloves to a cutting board and set aside.
Using an 8″ x 10″ casserole pan, lay out the sprouts and cooked squash.
Using a fork or potato masher, mash down on the squash cubes to create a puree or mash. I like to leave some texture so I didn’t make it a really smooth puree.
Add in the cooked onions, mushrooms and bacon pieces. Mix the vegetables together in the baking dish.
Smash the roasted garlic cloves with the back of a knife to remove the skins. Cut the garlic into pieces.
In a heavy saucepan, add the milk, roasted garlic cloves, cheese, butter, sage leaves and chicken stock and bring to a boil.
Reduce to a simmer and whisk until it is a nice even consistency, only a few minutes. It won’t be really thick, but don’t worry, once it’s in the casserole, the other ingredients will absorb the sauce and thicken it.
Season the sauce with a pinch of salt, black pepper and hot pepper flakes.
When the pasta is done, drain and add to the casserole pan with the vegetables. Mix together.
Pour the cheese sauce over the pasta and vegetables and mix together.
Place casserole back into the oven for 20 more minutes, until everything is blended and melted and bread crumbs are browned.