I love goat cheese and squash. The original recipe had the squash left in bigger chunks but I mashed it as that makes it more likely that my husband will eat it. This was tasty and another recipe that reheats really well.
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, seeds removed, and cut in 1/2 inch cubes
- 3 tbsp olive oil
- 1 lb rigatoni
- 3 slices bacon, cut into 1/2 inch pieces
- 2 medium onions, cut in half then sliced thinly crosswise
- 1/2 tsp sugar
- 1 tsp balsamic vinegar
- 4 tbsp butter
- 4 tbsp flour
- 3 cups milk
- pinch nutmeg
- 2 ounces goat cheese, crumbled (1/2 cup)
- 1/4 cup loosely packed fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
- 1/3 cup fresh breadcrumbs or panko
Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Toss squash cubes with oil, and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet; season with salt. Bake until tender and caramelized, about 25 minutes, stirring once halfway through. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil, and cook pasta as directed; drain and set aside.
Meanwhile, in a medium pan over medium-high heat, cook bacon until crispy. Remove using a slotted spoon and set aside to drain on paper towel. Pour out all but 1-2 tablespoons of fat – enough to coat the bottom of the pan. Add onions, sprinkle with sugar, and cook over medium-high heat until meltingly tender and deeply caramelized, stirring occasionally (about 20 minutes). Stir in balsamic vinegar; set aside.
While onions are caramelizing, make the sauce. Melt butter in medium saucepan over medium heat, cooking until butter smells fragrantly nutty and is a warm brown colour. Whisk in flour and cook 2 minutes. Very slowly pour in milk, whisking constantly. Cook over medium-low heat until sauce thickens, about 8 minutes. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg.
In a very large bowl, toss the pasta with the sauce, roasted squash, bacon, caramelized onions, goat cheese and sage leaves. Transfer to a large baking dish, and sprinkle with breadcrumbs. Reduce oven temperature to 375 degrees and bake until edges are crispy and breadcrumbs are golden brown, about 20 minutes.