1 small (about 2 pounds) butternut squash
2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 fresh sage leaves
2 cloves garlic
1 pound cavatappi or elbow pasta
3 cups milk
Pinch cayenne pepper
8 ounces cheddar cheese, finely grated (about 2 cups)
½ ounce Parmesan cheese, finely grated (about ½ cup)
½ cup coarse whole grain breadcrumbs
2 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper to season
Related: The Ultimate Easy Butternut Squash Soup
1. Heat oven to 400F degrees. Halve butternut squash lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side up on a rimmed baking sheet lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with oil and place garlic and sage inside the cavity. Season with salt and pepper. Roast until squash is golden brown and tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from oven and let cool slightly. Set the sage leaves aside. Scrape the tender squash flesh and garlic into a bowl and mash with a potato masher.
2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to package directions, 1 minute under al dente.
3. In a large cast-iron skillet, whisk together the mashed squash and milk over medium heat. Add the nutmeg and cayenne. Whisk in the cheeses until completely melted. Stir in the pasta until well combined. Season to taste with salt and pepper.
4. Chop the sage saved from roasting the squash. In a small bowl combine the chopped sage, breadcrumbs, and butter. Sprinkle over the pasta and bake until the breadcrumbs are golden and the cheese is bubbling, about 15 minutes.