This recipe takes a little while, but is well worth it. I prefer the butternut squash that is already peeled and chopped:
and this type of macaroni:
STEP 1: Start 6 cups of water to boil. Cook 4-6 slices of bacon (pancetta or ham may also be used) – until crispy. Set aside on a paper towel. Sautee’ 1 full vidalia onion in the bacon grease.
STEP 2: Add butternut squash to boiling water, until tender. Mix with onion in a baking dish. Add salt and pepper to taste.
STEP 3: Boil macaroni until almost fully cooked, drain and add to vegetable mixture – Add 1 package shredded white cheddar (sharp) and 4 cloves garlic (crushed)
STEP 4: Mix all ingredients and sprinkle Panko bread crumbs over the top (I used seasoned) as well as additional cheddar.
Optional: Make a Bechamel Sauce to mix with the macaroni in STEP 3.
5 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons all-purpose flour
4 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
In a medium saucepan, heat the butter over medium-low heat until melted. Add the flour and stir until smooth. Over medium heat, cook until the mixture turns a light, golden sandy color, about 6 to 7 minutes.
Meanwhile, heat the milk in a separate pan until just about to boil. Add the hot milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth. Bring to a boil. Cook 10 minutes, stirring constantly, then remove from heat. Season with salt and nutmeg, and set aside until ready to use.
Read more at: http://www.foodnetwork.com/recipes/mario-batali/bechamel-sauce-recipe/index.html?oc=linkback
Bake at 375 for 25 minutes.