Cook the squash either by roasting or steaming. If roasting, preheat oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit. Toss cubed squash with olive oil and spread evenly across a baking sheet. Roast until tender and squash has begun to caramelize, 25 to 45 minutes. Cooking times will vary based on how large the cubes of squash are cut into. If steaming, heat large pot with ½” inch or so of water. Add squash to steaming basket and steam, covered, until tender, about 7-10 minutes. Squash is ready when it is tender enough to easily poke with a fork, but still firm enough to hold it’s shape.
Once squash is cooked, place in food processor and puree until smooth. Set aside. (If using canned squash or pumpkin puree, omit the first two steps.)
Cook pasta according to package instructions. Meanwhile, in another pot over medium heat, melt butter then add onion, garlic, thyme, and a pinch of salt. Stirring occasionally, cook until onions are soft (about 5 minutes). Stir in flour, cooking for about 3 minutes. Then stir in milk and cook until sauce begins to thicken.
Reduce heat to low and begin mixing handfuls of cheese into the milk, stirring in until the cheese is melted and the sauce is creamy. Stir in butternut squash puree.
Add in mustard, nutmeg, cayenne, and black pepper, stirring to combine. Adjust seasonings and add salt to taste. Add the cheese/butternut squash sauce to pasta until the macaroni is sufficiently coated. Heat until warm. Serve immediately while hot!
Property of Allergic to Salad (www.allergictosalad.com)