Butternut Squash Mac ‘n’ Cheese
Keeping the recipes simple when cooking for the school is really important and this favourite is a great example. We use corn based pasta for flavour and added nutrition but any type will work well. Keep to short pasta for the best results.
Ingredients (serves 4):
400g bite size ‘short’ dried pasta like maccheroni, penne or fusili
1 butternut squash, peeled & diced
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
2 small onions, diced
200g mozzarella, grated
30g parmesan, grated
4 heaped tablespoons of mascarpone (double cream works well too)
few sage leaves
crispy onions or bread crumbs to finish
Toss the diced squash with some olive oil, salt & pepper and roast in a hot oven (220°C) until soft & golden (about 15 mins). Fry the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until soft, sweet and just starting to catch the bottom of the pan. You want them slightly golden and caramalised.
When both the squash and the onions are ready, blitz with a little water using a stick blender until super smooth. Add the cream, sage leaves and then the parmesan.
*When adding the grated parmesan let it sit on top of the warm sauce for a minute or so without stirring it in. This will allow the proteins in the cheese to relax and it will melt in nicely without going claggy and sticking to your spoon. Stir, season and set your sauce to one side. It should be the consistency of a velvety soup.
Cook the pasta, drain and stir into the sauce. Pour out onto a casserole dish, sprinkle the mozzarella over the top and grill in the oven until golden and bubbling.
Mac ‘n’ Cheese is great with something crunchy to balance the texture. We like it with crispy onions but bread crumbs work well too.
Serve with steamed broccoli or a little tomato salad! Che Buona!