Mac and Cheese with Barilla® Penne, Roasted Acorn Squash, Bacon & Brussels Sprouts


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Perfect and easy Mac and Cheese recipe your kids will love.

Ingredients 6 Number of Servings

1 box Barilla® Penne 

1 acorn squash, halved and emptied 

4 slices of bacon, quartered

15 Brussels sprouts, cut in 3

3 tbsp honey 

3 tbsp olive oil 

1 onion, finely chopped

3 garlic cloves, finely chopped

1/4 cup butter

1/4 cup flour

3 cups milk

½ cup cooking water 

1 tsp nutmeg 

1 cup old cheddar, grated

1/2 cup grated cheese of your choice

bacon breadcrumbs (optional)

For the bacon breadcrumbs:

1 cup cubed bread (leftover baguette, ciabatta or country loaf)

2-3 slices of bacon, quartered 

fresh or dried herbs of your choice (thyme, rosemary, etc.)

2 tbsp olive oil

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  • Preheat oven to 400 F. 

  • Baste acorn squash flesh with olive oil. Add salt and pepper and put on a baking sheet, flesh towards baking sheet. Place Brussels sprouts around squash and coat with a drizzle of oil and honey. Add salt and pepper, then top with slices of bacon. Cook in the oven for approximately 25 minutes, or until soft. Then remove flesh and transfer in a bowl. Mash squash until pureed. Set aside.
  • While squash is cooking, cook Barilla® pasta until al dente. Drain and reserve ½ cup of cooking water. Set aside.

  • In a pot, cook garlic and onion in butter at low heat. Add nutmeg, salt and pepper. Once onion becomes translucent, add flour to form a roux, then gradually incorporate milk using a whip. Continue cooking while whipping until bechamel becomes smooth and thick.

  • Incorporate mashed squash in béchamel and add cheddar cheese and ½ cup of cheese of your choice. If the sauce becomes too thick, use cooking water to thin it out.

  • Once the sauce is ready, add Brussels sprouts, bacon and pasta and mix well.

  • Sprinkle with grated cheese, then add bacon breadcrumbs.

  • Cook in the oven for 20 minutes at 375 F, then cook at broil until cheese is golden brown.

  • For the bacon breadcrumbs:

    After placing the squash and Brussels sprouts in the oven, on another baking sheet, place the bread cubes, then mix with the olive oil and the herbs. Place the bacon slices on top, then bake for about 15 minutes or until the bacon and croutons are cooked through.

  • When ready, roughly chop the contents of the baking sheet to make breadcrumbs, then set aside.

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