3cupsdiced butternut squashabout 1 pound of squash, you’ll need ⅔ cup of cooked, mashed squash
½poundmezzi rigatonior any small shaped pasta such as elbow macaroni or penne
1 ¼cupcheddar cheeseshredded
¾cupsmoked gouda cheeseshredded
Preheat oven to 350° and spray a 2-quart baking dish with Pam or grease with shortening.
Cook Butternut Squash
Cook the cubed butternut squash in the microwave oven with a tablespoon of water. Depending on your microwave, it should take about 15 minutes on high power. You'll want the squash to be very tender. Mash the cooked squash with a fork or potato masher to create ⅔ cup of cooked squash. Set it aside until the cheese sauce is ready.
Cook pasta on the stovetop using the minimum cooking time listed on the packaging. For mezzi rigatoni (small rigatoni) it’s about 9 minutes. While pasta is cooking, shred all three cheeses. Set aside about ¼ cup of the Cheddar and ¼ cup of the Gouda, that will be used for the topping.
Drain pasta in a colander and leave the pasta there while you make the sauce.
Prepare Cheese Sauce
Use the same pan to melt butter and whisk in flour. Stir over medium heat until butter is foamy, and whisk for about 20 seconds. Add two cups of milk and continue stirring until the milk becomes like a thick cream sauce.
Remove from heat and stir in the remaining cheddar, smoked gouda and the parmesan cheeses and cooked butternut squash. Add nutmeg, tabasco, salt and pepper and stir. Add macaroni and stir again.
Place ingredients into prepared baking dish.
Cover the dish with foil and bake for 20 minutes. Remove from oven, remove foil and sprinkle the reserved cheddar and gouda on top of the hot macaroni. Return to the oven and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until hot and bubbly around the edges.
As an option, garnish with a dash of paprika and a little parsley.