16 oz pasta prepared according to the package directions
2 Tbs melted butter
¼ tsp Garlic salt
1/2 tsp dried ground sage
1/2 cup panko breadcrumbs
Heat oven to 450F. Split the squash in half lengthwise. Rub the squash on the cut side with 2 Tbs oil and place split side up on a baking sheet and roast 30 minutes or until fork tender.
After the squash is roasted, let it cool so that it’s easy to handle. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Then scoop out the flesh and dice into small pieces and place in a bowl to the side.
Place the butter and flour into a pot over medium high heat on the stove and stir until the butter and flour are combined and slightly bubbly, though not burning. Reduce heat to medium to medium low if it gets too bubbly. This will create a roux which creates the thickness for the cheese sauce. Continue to stir and cook the roux until it slightly darkens to a caramel color.
Reduce heat to medium low if it isn’t already and then add in heavy cream slowly by the tablespoonful, whisking constantly so as to make a thick sauce and avoiding lumps from the roux. Then add in the milk and continue to stir until it makes a thick creamy consistency.
Next, add in the spices and cheese and stir until melted. Then add in the pasta and butternut pieces and mix it all together.
Then pour the pasta into a 9 x 13 oven safe casserole dish.
Next, combine the 2 Tbs melted butter, garlic salt and dried ground sage in a small bowl and toss with panko breadcrumbs until fully incorporated. Then sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the mac and cheese evenly.
Bake the mac and cheese in the preheated oven for 3 - 5 minutes until the breadcrumbs are browned and toasty.
This spinach and cheese manicotti is an old family favorite. It starts with a smooth, creamy filling made of cottage cheese and spinach, and is rolled into a homemade crepe. Serve them with a salad, and you have a delicious dinner that your family will enjoy for years to come.