To make Syn Free Butternut Squash Macaroni Cheese for four you will need:
- half a butternut squash (cut one lengthways, and save the other half for my Moroccan chickpea tagine, coming soon!)
- 320g macaroni pasta (I used penne because I'm a rebel and that's all I had, but use what you like)
- 400ml chicken or veg stock, from a cube is fine
- half an onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 1.2 tsp paprika
- 4 lean bacon medallions
- 160g grated reduced fat cheddar, or 120g full fat cheddar - pick and nice strong one (4 x HEA)
Scrape out the seeds from your butternut squash and spray the cut side with frylight/spray oil, before roasting for about 45 minutes. You can do this earlier in the day to save time, or you can chop it up and boil it but roasting saves you having to wrestle it get it peeled. When you're ready to cook get the pasta going in a large pan of salted boiling water. Soften the onion and garlic in a large frylighted pan for a few minutes before scooping out the flesh from the squash and adding it to the pan. Break up a little with the back of your spoon before adding your stock and bringing to the boil for a few minutes. Pop your bacon under the grill to go nice and crispy while you blend the sauce. You can either use a stick blender (so so cheap if you don't have one, and they're a kitchen essential!) or a food processor like mine (which I love). Get it nice and smooth and creamy before returning to the pan and adding the paprika. Throw in your cheese, reserving one HEA's worth (30g if full fat or 40g if reduced fat) to sprinkle on top. Stir until melted and when your pasta is cooked to your liking drain and add it to the sauce. Reserve a little of the pasta water if the sauce is too thick, and add a splash to thin it down a little. Divide between 4 plates and sprinkle with the reserved cheese, before crumbling your crispy bacon over the top. Delicious!
Mr MGAMT said the sauce tasted like cheesy soup, but I don't think that's a bad thing. He's a veggie dodger though, so I didn't tell him it was made of butternut squash, or I'd have got scalped. The little ones ate it without complaint too. And butternut squash is a great speed food, so you don't even have to add salad on the side to get your 1/3 in. Leave the bacon off if you want it veggie. I love anything cheesy, and while this is nothing like the creamy, gooey, drool worthy mac and cheese I'm dreaming of, it does the job!