I’ve never been fond of Macaroni Cheese, I’m not sure why, but this dish has never appealed to me, but after mooching through Tom Kerridge’s book, A Fresh Start, I saw this recipe for Creamy Butternut Squash pasta bake. I like butternut squash, so I thought I would give it a go.
575 calories per serving
- 1kg butternut squash, cut into chunks (about 2 cm)
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 500g macaroni
- Sea salt and fresh ground black pepper
For the cheese sauce
- 60g butter
- 60g plain flour
- 1 litre whole milk
- 60g Parmesan, finely grated
- 1/4 tsp freshly grated nutmeg
For the topping
- A handful of sage leaves
- 40g sun-blushed tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tbsp pumpkin oil (or use olive oil)
- 2 tbsp pumpkin seeds
How did I get on?
The first thing that needed to be done was to cut the butternut squash into chunks. So for that, I called upon my husband, or rather my husband volunteered as he didn’t want to see me chop my fingers off! Here’s how he got on:
After he had cut up the butternut squash, not quite as fast as in the video, we put it on a roasting tray, drizzled it with olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, where it cooked on the top shelf for 25 minutes at 220ºC/Gas 7.
Once it was cooked and cooled, then comes my favourite part, you put three quarters into a blender and blitz it together.
Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil and cook the macaroni until al dente.
For the sauce, melt the better, add the floured stir for one minute. Then add the milk and whisk until it thickens slightly. Then add the Parmesan and nutmeg and stir until the cheese has melted. Grab your butternut squash puree and stir it through. That’s the most difficult part over with!
Drain the macaroni, add to the sauce and stir well. Tip into a deep baking dish and scatter over the rest of the butternut squash, sage, sun-blushed tomatoes and breadcrumbs. Drizzle with the oil.
This is placed in the middle shelf of the one, turning on the oven grill at the same time (I have to admit, I forgot to do this!).
Bake for ten minutes and then take out and scatter the pumpkins seeds evenly over the surface and return to the oven for a further five minutes.
This dish was very tasty, a change from your normal macaroni cheese dish. It wasn’t hard to prepare, the most tricky bit being the sauce. There wasn’t much preparation apart from the butternut squash, so once you had prepared and roasted this, the rest didn’t take very long at all.
This makes enough for six people, so if that’s too much, you can freeze it and just defrost it and put it in the oven for about 30 minutes.