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Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese

Butternut Squash Mac and Cheese ~ how can you possibly go wrong with that combination! I started with a classic dish, added Gruyere cheese and bacon to bring a richness to the dish, then folded in delicious butternut squash for added texture and flavor.  Each bite is fabulous ~ a definite hit.

"The Gruyere cheese & bacon add just the right touches; rich and delicious!

INGREDIENTS
12 oz. elbow pasta
1 Tbs. olive oil
3-3 1/4 cups heavy cream
2 cups butternut squash cubes (1/2” cubes)
1/4 teaspoon white pepper
3 Tbs. flour
2 cups Gruyere or Jarlsberg cheese, shredded
6-8 slices bacon, cooked and chopped
1 cup panko bread crumbs

PREPARATION
Preheat oven to 425 degrees

1.   Cook pasta according to package al dente directions.  Drain, toss with oil and set aside.

2.   In a large saucepan, add heavy cream, butternut squash and white pepper.  Cook over medium low heat for 15-18 minutes; squash will soften.

3.   Sprinkle in flour; be sure to stir well.

4.   Add Gruyere cheese and bacon to pan; stir and heat until cheese is melted (2-3 minutes).

5.   Remove from heat and add the elbow pasta.  Gently stir to combine all ingredients well.

6.   Pour into a casserole pan sprayed with non-stick cooking spray.

7.   Sprinkle panko bread crumbs over the top of the casserole.

8.   Bake for 20 minutes.

9.   Serve and enjoy!

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