We love macaroni cheese and the grown ups in our household usually eat it with a green salad on the side. The kids however, tend just to polish off the cheese and pasta so I came up with this easy way to add some veg to the dish. You could mash it up and pretend it’s orange cheese if you think that would fool your kids. I should have tried that as one of them had a 20 minute meltdown about it being on her plate. Sigh.
1 medium butternut squash (about 1kg), peeled and diced
2 tbsp olive oil
50g plain flour
1.5 pints/900ml milk
150g cheddar, grated
50g parmesan, grated
pinch of nutmeg
300g dried macaroni
85g wholemeal breadcrumbs
Pre-heat the oven to 200°C. Roast the butternut squash with the olive oil for 30-40 minutes until soft. Stir occasionally.
Place a large pan of water on to boil. Add the macaroni and a dash of olive oil to stop it from sticking. I always find that macaroni sticks more than other types of pasta, though I’m not sure why. Boil for 8-10 minutes until al-dente (you don’t want it to be too soft as it will continue to cook in the oven), then drain.
Meanwhile make your cheese sauce. Over a medium heat, melt the butter. Stir in the flour and then gradually whisk in the milk. Bring to the boil, stirring constantly, then lower the heat and continue stirring until it thickens to a smooth sauce. This should be a bit runnier than you might usually make a cheese sauce as it will thicken in the oven. Remove from the heat and stir in 2/3 of the cheese and the nutmeg.
Add the cheese sauce and roasted squash to the cooked macaroni and mix well.
Cover with breadcrumbs and the rest of the cheese.
Cook in the oven for around 20 minutes until the top is bubbling and golden brown.