Monday, 19 September 2016
Macaroni cheese with a twist
So the weather has changed, kids got back to school, conkers are falling down from the trees... the time has come for comfort, warming meals. What better way to celebrate seasonal veg than adding them into a classic meal like macaroni cheese! I found this idea in one of last year's Waitrose recipe cards you can grab in their shops. The autumnal twist comes from adding roasted butternut squash or sweet potato. Both will add extra flavour, creaminess and sweetness, just perfect for colder days.
Here's what you need:
500g of peeled and chopped butternut squash - it's also nice to add sweet potato, to save time you can buy ready peeled and chopped veg
2-3 garlic cloves
1 tbsp of chopped fresh sage
olive oil to drizzle - around 1 tbsp
black pepper to taste
230g of macaroni pasta
40g plain flour
600ml of milk
175g of cheese - grated
Depending of what veg you use prep can be around 5-15 mins
Cooking time 40 mins
Here's how to do it:
First preheat the oven to 190 degrees, prep the butternut squash, peeling it and chopping. Place the veg into a baking tray, sprinkle with olive oil, crushed garlic cloves and spread over the squash, sprinkle with chopped sage. Place in the oven (middle tray) and roast for about 30 mins.
While the butternut squash is roasting, cook the macaroni pasta according to packet instructions (usually 8-10 mins). Once cooked drain and leave aside.
In a separate pan melt the butter and stir in the flour. Remove from the heat and whisk in the milk (with a fork or mini hand whisk), you want to achieve a fairly smooth sauce, no lumps from the flour. Return to the heat and when it comes to boil, reduce the heat and simmer stirring from time to time - you want the sauce to thicken a bit. When you achieve the right consistency add 3/4 of the grated cheese and stir until it melts completely. Add a bit of black pepper, to taste. Now you can take your sauce off the heat and pour it over the cooked macaroni. When the butternut squash is nice and soft and ready to come out of the oven, gently add it to the pasta - the idea is not to break up the veg too much and keep in chunks. Now pour the entire mixture into an oven proof dish, sprinkle the rest of the cheese on top and place under the grill for 3-5 mins or until you see the cheese melted and turning golden brown.
Enjoy, this dish will keep a large family (even of 5) satisfied :).