“Rich and creamy, this could easily become a new favourite at home. It’s also a great way of getting a big portion of veg into your family without them even noticing!” declares Tom Kerridge, whose book, Tom Kerridge’s Fresh Start, aims to get people to fall back in love with cooking from scratch.
“It’s all about the toppings: crunchy seeds and breadcrumbs, sweet chunks of butternut pumpkin, and nuggets of acidity from the sun-blushed tomatoes.”
This dish can be frozen and eaten later in the week, too.
575 calories per serving
- 1kg butternut pumpkin, cut into chunks (about 2cm)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 500g macaroni
- Sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
For the cheese sauce:
- 60g butter
- 60g plain flour
- 1L whole milk
- 1 tablespoon liquid aminos (or soy sauce)
- 60g Parmesan, finely grated
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
For the topping:
- A handful of sage leaves
- 40g sun-blushed tomatoes, roughly chopped
- 50g fresh breadcrumbs
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin oil (or use olive oil)
- 2 tablespoons pumpkin seeds
Green salad to serve (optional)
1. Preheat the oven to 220°C/Fan 200°C/Gas 7. Line a large roasting tray with baking parchment.
2. Place the pumpkin in the roasting tray. Drizzle with the olive oil, season with salt and pepper and toss to coat. Cook on the top shelf of the oven for 25 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender and browned at the edges. Remove from the oven and let it cool slightly for a couple of minutes. (Keep the oven on.)
3. Tip three-quarters of the roasted pumpkin into a blender and blitz to a purée; set the rest aside.
4. Bring a large pan of salted water to the boil. Add the macaroni and cook until almost al dente (two to three minutes less than the time suggested on the packet).
5. Meanwhile, for the sauce, melt the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring, for one minute, then whisk in the milk and cook, whisking, until the sauce thickens slightly. Lower the heat and add the liquid aminos (or soy sauce), Parmesan and nutmeg. Stir until the cheese has melted, then stir through the pumpkin purée to make a rich, smooth sauce. Take off the heat and season with salt and pepper to taste.
6. Drain the macaroni, add to the sauce and stir well. Tip into a large, deep baking dish, about 25 x 30cm. Scatter over the rest of the roasted squash, the sage, sun-blushed tomatoes and breadcrumbs. Drizzle with the oil. Place on the middle shelf of the oven, turning on the oven grill at the same time. Bake for 10 minutes.
7. Take out the dish, scatter the pumpkin seeds evenly over the surface and return to the oven for five minutes or until the topping is golden. Serve at once, with a green salad.
To freeze: cool and pack in a lidded foil tray (or several trays). Defrost fully in the fridge, then remove the lid and reheat in an oven preheated to 200°C/Fan 180°C/Gas 6 for 30 minutes, until hot all the way through. If the surface appears to be browning too quickly, cover loosely with foil.
– With PA
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