Makes 6-12 servings
1 (3-pound) winter squash, such as red kuri, acorn, butternut, or kabocha, halved and seeded
Olive oil, for brushing
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
Unsalted butter, for the pan
2 cups whole milk
1 pound extra-sharp cheddar cheese, half freshly grated (about 11/4 cups) and half cut into small cubes (about 1/3 inch)
4 ounces smoked Gouda, freshly grated (about 11/4 cups)
1 pound gluten-free corn elbow macaroni or fusilli
11/2 ounces Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, freshly grated (about 1/2 cup)
1. Preheat the oven to 400 F. Brush the cut sides of the squash with olive oil, season with salt and pepper, and put on a baking sheet cut sides down. Roast the squash for about 40 minutes, until very tender all the way through. Let cool slightly.
2. Reduce the oven temperature to 350 F. Butter a 9-×-13-inch baking dish.
3. Scoop 3 cups of the squash out of the skin into a large saucepan set over medium heat; if you have any remaining squash, reserve it for another use. Add the milk to the saucepan and heat until warm.
4. Using a potato masher or whisk, mash the squash until smooth; alternatively, if you want a silkier consistency, you can puree the squash with an immersion blender or transfer the mixture to a blender to puree. Add the grated cheddar and Gouda to the saucepan and cook, stirring occasionally, until the cheese has melted, 5 to 6 minutes. Keep the sauce warm, stirring occasionally as necessary.
5. Meanwhile, in a large pot of boiling salted water, cook the macaroni until not quite al dente (likely 3 minutes shy of the cooking time suggested on the box). Reserve 1 cup of the cooking water, and drain.
6. Add the pasta to the cheese sauce and stir until well coated, adding pasta water if necessary to loosen the sauce. (The sauce will thicken in the oven, so if you like a loose, creamy mac and cheese, definitely add some water.) Stir in the cubed cheddar cheese, and then pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the Parmigiano all over the top.
7. Bake for about 30 minutes, until the cheese sauce is bubbling and some of the Parmigiano cheese is browned. (If you'd like a golden-brown layer, pop the mac and cheese under the broiler for about 3 minutes.) Let cool for 15 minutes before serving.
Prep: The assembled mac and cheese can be refrigerated overnight. Bake at the host's house.
- Reprinted from Modern Potluck (Clarkson Potter 2016) Note: If you can't find corn noodles, you can substitute any macaroni or fusilli, gluten-free or not.