Aired November 3, 2011
2 pounds macaroni with lines, such as elbows
2 tablespoons EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil
4 tablespoons butter
4 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme leaves
1 medium onion, grated
6 tablespoons all-purpose flour
1 quart chicken stock
2 10-ounce boxes frozen, cooked butternut squash, defrosted
4 cups (8 ounces) sharp cheddar, grated
2 cups heavy cream or half-n-half
Bring a pot of water to a boil for the pasta. Salt the water then add the pasta and cook to al dente.
While the pasta cooks, heat a medium-size, heavy-bottomed pot over medium heat. Add the EVOO, 1 turn of the pan, and butter. When the butter melts into the oil, add the thyme and grate the onion directly into the pot with a hand-held grater or microplane. Cook the grated onion 1-2 minutes, then add flour and cook together 1-2 more minutes. Whisk in stock, then combine with butternut squash until warmed through and smooth. Stir in cream or half-and-half and bring sauce to a bubble. Stir in cheeses in a figure-8 motion and season the completed sauce with salt, nutmeg and pepper. Taste to adjust seasonings.
Drain cooked pasta well and combine with sauce.
Preheat oven to 375F. Put half of the mixture into small ramekins or muffins tins and bake for 20 minutes.