I’m kicking the year off with a recipe that ticks a lot of boxes. Resolved to eat less meat this year? Tick. Resolved to cook more? Tick. Refusing to make any resolutions? Tick.
Over the past few months I have been slowwwwly introducing dairy back into my diet. It’s been fun. So far, I’ve been to Homeslice Pizza…
It’s amazing. Be prepared to wait for a table and get cosy with some tourists next to you, but also be prepared for the best pizza you have eaten in your liiiiiifeeeee. You get 20″ of the best pizza dough, thrown in a wood fired oven and can pick two toppings – one for each half on the pizza. We went for cauliflower cheese, aubergine, spinach & harissa on one half, calabrian peppers, chervil & lincolnshire poacher cheese on the other. AMAZING. Take me back.
I also made this butternut squash macaroni cheese with real cheese. And not just one real cheese, FOUR real cheeses. Of course, if you are my lactose free/vegan readership, just swap for your favourite alternative.
The other great thing about this version is that you don’t have to make a roux. As in, a thickening agent made from equal quantities of flour and fat and a known quantity of liquid (Leiths theory tests are going great btw, can you tell.)
It’s ace. Also, to do this recipe you will need a blender of some sort. I use an immersion blender. Much easier to clean than a big blender and easier to store. You can get a cheap one in a supermarket – mine is a Braun one that is so old it says “made in Britain” on it.
- 1 onion
- Pinch of dry thyme
- 2 tsp butter
- 1 tbsp oil
- 1 butternut squash
- 1½ mugs chicken/vegetable stock
- 1 mug milk (soy/cow/rice etc)
- ½ mug macaroni pasta per person
- Plenty of salt
- Red Leicester
- Mature Cheddar
- Grated Parmesan
- Dice the onion and soften in the oil and butter.
- Prepare the squash by peeling and dicing into even chunks. Add to the pan.
- Cover the vegetables with the stock & milk. Allow to simmer until the squash is soft and tender.
- Blend the mixture, then add the cheese. There is no need to grate it because washing up a cheese grater is high effort. Just cut up the cheeses (except the Parmesan) into small chunks and allow them to melt in the sauce.
- Combine enough sauce with the pasta (you may not need to use all of it) and transfer into a baking dish or skillet. Sprinkle with remaining cheese, then put into the oven at 180 for 15 minutes or so - until the cheese on top is crispy.
- I lost track a bit of the quantities of the cheese, but grating in a mixture of each and sprinkling on the Parmesan before it goes into the oven. Obviously, if you're vegetarian, don't...
- The size of a butternut squash varies massively, so be prepared that this recipe will make extra sauce which you can freeze for your next maca-fix.