Roasted butternut squash and bacon casserole
For me, casseroles are the ultimate in comfort food -- especially during the cooler months. This recipe for roasted butternut squash and bacon casserole is one of my favourites (and it's originally from Cooking Light). The butternut squash is a bit sweet, the bacon is a bit salty and the cheese makes for a most delicious combination! I modified the original recipe slightly since we're partial to the sharper taste of old cheddar cheese.

1 butternut squash, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon dried rosemary

1 box pasta of choice (I use macaroni or penne for Monkey's fingers to grab)
7 slices bacon, cut in one inch pieces
1 cup shallots, diced
1/4 cup flour
2 cups milk (1%)
1 cup old cheddar cheese, shredded

1/3 cup grated fresh Parmesan

Preheat to 425◦F. Toss squash in olive oil, rosemary, salt and pepper. Roast for 45 minutes until squash is tender.

While the squash is roasting, fry the bacon. When the bacon is done, pour off all but 1 tablespoon of the drippings. Set aside bacon, and cook the shallots 7 minutes or until translucent in the leftover drippings. Set aside shallots.

Cook pasta according to box directions. When the squash is done roasting, mix in the bacon and shallots (set aside) and turn the oven up to 450◦F.

Put flour in a heavy-bottomed sauce pan over medium-high heat and slowly whisk in the milk. Bring to a boil for 1 minute or until slightly thickened. Remove from heat and stir in shredded cheese.

Combine pasta and the squash mixture in a 9×13 casserole dish, and pour the milk and cheese mixture over the top. Stir to coat. Top with grated Parmesan and put it back in the oven for 10-15 minutes, or until the cheese starts to brown.

Enjoy! It makes for very tasty leftovers the next day too.

(Serves 4 to 6)

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