Sage Pesto Mac N Cheese with Butternut Squash, Fontina and Goat Cheese




   It’s been two hours now and I am still exhausted.
   Bear Creek kicked my ass today.
   Today was the first time, ever, in about six tries in two years that I managed to hike and run to Bear Creek.

Young Sequoia trees on the trail

   It was a three hour ordeal with three thousand foot altitude gain.
   It honestly would not have been so bad if I had a proper breakfast or brought snacks but I was really not hiking that I would make it as far as Bear Creek today, a 7.2 mile round trip hike.
   Instead of a smoothie or a big pre hike omelet I had two left over potato pancakes.

   Mile five coming back up endless switch backs I was cursing myself and those two damn meager potato pancakes I had inhaled four hours earlier.
   I was also dreaming of the moment I would return home and make this Sage Pesto Mac N Cheese with Butternut Squash and all kinds of cheese.
   Yes dreams of squash and cheese were racing through my mind like a goat and dust flavoured contact high as I tried to just put one foot in front of the other fighting my way through the steep switchbacks and dreaming of my goat cheese reward.

Butternut Squash Mac N Cheese with Sage Pesto, Fontina and Goat Cheese

1 cup butter nut squash, roasted in a 375 oven for 40 minutes and cut into bite size pieces


8 sage leaves
1/4 cup pine nuts
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese
2 garlic cloves
1/4 cup olive oil

1/2 cup goat cheese, crumbled
1 cup fontina cheese. shredded, plus 1/4 reserved cup fontina
1/2 cup milk
1 tab flour
1 tsp garlic salt
2 sage leaves, chopped
2 cups macaroni

In a food processor combine the 8 sage leaves, pine nuts, Parmesan and garlic cloves. Slowly drizzle in olive oil.

In a sauce pan heat the milk. Add the garlic salt, 2 sage leaves and slowly whisk in the flour. Add the cheese until just combined.

Boil the macaroni according to directions on the package.

In a large baking dish, layer the cooked squash, macaroni, pesto, clumps of goat cheese and the cheese sauce. Sprinkle 1/4 cup reserved feta on top of the Mac and Cheese and bake for thirty minutes at 375.





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