Along with new smells and sights, Autumn brings a new season for pumpkin, squash and gourds. Vibrant orange, yolk yellow and stripy-evergreen veg starts to appear on the shelves in all shapes and sizes. It’s time to start racking your brain for recipes to keep up with the nobbly glut.
My pumpkin of choice this time was the old reliable butternut squash – and after going slightly pasta mad in our last food shop (‘did you mean to order ten bags?!’), some kind of butternut bake was on the agenda. Having pondered, I landed on a pumpkin mac & cheese spiked with hot chilli, surely the most Autumnal dinners there is. Serves 4.
Spicy Butternut Mac & Cheese
400g butternut squash
40g plain flour
100g strong mature cheddar, grated
1 birdseye chilli, finely sliced
Heaped tsp herbes de Provence
Salt and pepper
2 tbsps of sunflower or pumpkin seeds
1) Dice your squash into bite sized chunks and toss in olive oil, salt & pepper and herbes de Provence – roast in the oven at 180c for around 25 minutes or until golden brown.
2) Meanwhile, drop your macaroni into boiling water and cook for 11 minutes – drain and leave to one side.
3) Melt the butter in a heavy bottomed pan, then add the flour. Beat into a paste over the heat for a couple of minutes. Using a whisk, gradually add the milk to the mixture. If lumps appear keep rapidly whisking until you’re left with a smooth sauce. Add the grated cheese and sliced chilli, and salt to taste. (Reserve some cheese to sprinkle on top).
4) Remove the roasted squash from the oven. Mix the macaroni and sauce together, and then gently stir in the squash. Tip into an oven safe dish and top with reserved cheese.
5) Put the dish back into the oven (still at 180c). It’s ready when the top has caramelised and is bubbling nicely. Serve straight away with the pumpkin or sunflower seeds sprinkled on top for a bit of crunch.
Find me @lucyfoodsnaps…