a creamy, decadent baked mac and cheese with prosciutto, breadcrumbs, and herbs
Preheat the oven to 425°F. Trim the ends off the bottom of each squash so that each one stands upright. Cut the tops of each squash, enough so that you reveal the soft part of the inside of the squash. Use a spoon to scoop out the seeds and stringy flesh. If needed, use a knife to cut down the flesh more to create a large space within the squash. Coat the squash with a generous amount of oil. Season the squash with salt and freshly cracked black pepper. Place the squash upright on the sheet pan. Roast the squash for 25-30 minutes until tender and slightly caramelized.
Combine the bread and sage leaves in a food processor. Pulse until the bread mixture resembles fine crumbs. Set aside.
Preheat the oven to 400°F. Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, heat a heavy-bottom pot over medium heat. Add enough safflower oil to coat the bottom. Add the onions and a pinch of salt. Saute the onions until golden and caramelized, about 10 minutes. Add the butter to the onions and let melt. Whisk in the flour. Let cook for about 3 minutes. Slowly add the milk, whisking continuously. Add the sage and thyme. Bring the milk to a simmer. Let simmer for about 8-10 minutes on medium-low until slightly thickened, stirring often. Remove and discard the sage and thyme sprigs. Stir in the cheddar cheese, 2oz of fontina cheese, and the prosciutto.
Add the pasta to the boiling water and cook 2 minutes less than the package instructions. Drain the pasta. Add the pasta to the sauce and stir until completely coated. Taste and season with salt if needed. Distribute the mac & cheese into the squash, mounding the pasta high on top. Spoon any extra mac & cheese into an oiled cast-iron skillet. Sprinkle the remaining fontina cheese over all the pasta. Distribute the breadcrumbs as well. Drizzle the breadcrumbs with a little bit of oil. Bake the mac & cheese for about 10 minutes until the cheese has melted and breadcrumbs have browned. Garnish with fresh thyme.