Butternut squash macaroni cheese

It took all of my willpower to not type Squatternut Bosh in the title for this recipe because we’ve watched way too much Friends over the years in our house and so we always call butternut squash squatternut bosh. I’m blaming Joey Tribbiani. Anyway back on topic now, this macaroni cheese is wonderful, utterly comforting, and unlike a standard macaroni cheese the addition of the squash makes it at least vaguely feel like there’s something other than carbs and dairy involved. Don’t scrimp on the sage, it makes all the difference. Yum yum yum. Recipe from BBC Good Food, but tweaked by me. Serves 6.

Ingredients

1 large butternut squash

2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely diced

70g butter

30g fresh sage

50g plain flour

500ml milk

1 tbsp dijon mustard

200g cheddar cheese, grated

450g macaroni

Method

  1. Heat oven to 180C fan and grab a large roasting tin.
  2. Don’t bother to peel the squash, but halve it, remove the seeds, then chop into 1 inch (ish) chunks. Fling into the tin, drizzle over about 2 tbsp olive oil and a good pinch of salt, toss to combine, and roast for 20 minutes. Remove from the oven, but leave the oven on.
  3. In the mean time, cook your pasta as the packet instructs, but don’t over cook it. Drain, and set aside.
  4. Also in the meantime, melt a knob of the butter in a large saucepan and fry the onion for at least 5 minutes until soft but not starting to brown.
  5. Pick the leaves off the sage stalks, reserve some to decorate, then finely slice the rest.
  6. Throw the sage in with the onion, cook for another minute.
  7. Add in the rest of the butter, and once it’s melted stir in the flour to form a paste.
  8. Mix in the milk a slurp at a time to form a thick sauce.
  9. Stir in the mustard.
  10. Remove around a quarter of the squash from the roasting tin, cut off the skin from those pieces, then mash them up and stir into the sauce, along with half of the cheese. You really won’t notice the skin on the rest of the squash, so don’t feel you have to faff around taking the skin off the rest.
  11. Taste and season the sauce.
  12. Tip the pasta, roasted squash, and sauce into a large baking dish, mix well and scatter over the remaining cheese and sage leaves.
  13. Bake for 30-40 minutes until golden.

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