Tender pasta generously slathered in quite possibly the most velvety, rich, and creamy cheese sauce you've ever encountered. And it's ready in well under 30 minutes!
Yield: 4-6 servings
1/2pound8 ounces pasta (macaroni, rotini, penne, or shells)
4cupsbutternut squashpeeled, seeded, and cubed (about one 2 1/2 pound squash)
1pint2 cups heavy whipping cream
1teaspoonfresh thyme leavesor 1/2 teaspoon dried
1/4teaspoonkosher salt + more for cooking the pasta and squash + more to tasteif desired
1/4teaspoonfreshly ground black pepper + more to taste
4cupsshredded sharp cheddar cheese16 ounces
Cook the pasta until al dente, according to package instructions. Drain the water and set the pasta aside.
While the pasta cooks, make the sauce. Fill a medium pot halfway with water and add a pinch of salt. Set on the stove over high heat. Add the butternut squash and bring to a boil. Cook until tender, 5-6 minutes. Drain the water and set the cooked squash aside.
Reduce heat to medium and return the pot to the stove. Add the heavy whipping cream, thyme, Dijon mustard, 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt, and 1/4 teaspoon pepper. Cook, stirring frequently with a whisk, until thickened slightly, 3-4 minutes. Add back the butternut squash. Remove from heat and either (carefully!) use an immersion blender to completely puree the sauce, or pour into a blender to puree. Return to the pot. Add the cheese, stirring until melted. Taste the sauce and add additional salt and pepper if desired. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir gently until all of the pasta is coated. Serve.