My kids love mac and cheese, but they like do not like the normal mac and cheese with cheddar cheese(rolling eyes!) They like the gourmet mac and cheese, where you make the white sauce also called roux with butter and flour, add in the macaroni, and then bake it in little ceramic dishes with cheese and breadcrumbs on the top, drizzled with olive oil and baked off to create a wonderful crust on the top that is so delicious!
Although it is quite delicious, there is essentially no nutritional value to this dish, with all the cheese and butter that is in it. So I decided to make a slightly elevated version of this dish called the Roasted Butternut Squash, Mushroom, and Fontina Cheese Pasta Bake. This dish has roasted butternut squash in it, which is probably one of my favorite squashes in the family of squash, and I make it in several different ways. Funny thing is, I used to make SO MUCH butternut squash puree for my then babies when they were less than 1, and I would add spices to it to make it more flavorful and they loved it!
This pasta also has sautéed mushrooms. I LOVE the texture and taste of the sautéed wild mushrooms. I sauté them in olive oil and butter, and add thyme, salt and pepper. They are so full of flavor and add great texture and flavor to the pasta as well. Lastly I add sage leaves, fontina cheese and parmesan cheese, which gives it all kinds of herby and cheesy flavors. This is a very flavorful and hearty pasta bake, perfect for an anytime meal.
We fight over the crunchy topping which is fontina and parmesan cheese, bread crumbs and olive oil, and crispy sage garnish! It is a great make ahead dish, that can be enjoyed during the week, as well as, as leftovers!
I had developed this recipe for the Cook Feed Magazine, in 2018, and thought I would share it here since a lot of people asked me for the recipe. It is a great one that my family loves! Hope you enjoy it as much as we do! If you do make it, please do tag #thejamlab on Instagram and/or leave a comment here on this blog post!