Macaroni Cheese is one of the well known recipes that for some reason I don’t seem to cook much. It might be the subconscious memory of once trying the bright yellow stuff that you get in tins, or just that other forms of pasta jump into my mind first, but I felt that it was time to properly give it a go. Purists may not like the additions here, but I like meals with lots of variety, and the squash and spinach definitely add something special.
400g dried macaroni
1 large butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
2 tbs olive oil
1 tbs dried sage
Salt and pepper to season
2 tbs butter
1 tbs whole grain mustard
2 cloves of garlic, crushed
3 tbs plain flour
50g Vegetarian Parmesan, grated
200g extra mature cheddar cheese, grated
100g fresh spinach, roughly chopped
1. Preheat the oven to 220C.
2. Add the chopped butternut squash cubes to a large baking tray, drizzle the oil over then coat with the sage and season. Mix well to coat and place in the oven for 30 minutes. Set aside and turn the oven down to 180C.
3. Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of salted water to the boil then add the pasta. Return to the boil and simmer for 8 minutes (do not cook completely!). Rinse, drain and set aside.
4. In another large pan, melt the butter then add the garlic and mustard. Simmer for 1 minute then add the flour and cook for a further minute before gradually adding the milk. Continue whisking until smooth then add the cheddar and continue whisking until melted.
5. Add the pasta, butternut squash cubes and spinach to a large casserole dish, mix well then cover with the cheese sauce. Season well then finally cover with the grated Parmesan.
6. Place in the oven for 25 minutes until brown. Serve immediately with fresh bread.