This variation on traditional Mac ‘n’ Cheese is from Jamie’s Super Food family Classics. It’s a lighter version of the dish and is full of tasty veg in the form of butternut squash (pumpkin), so it’s very healthy!
I have included Jamie’s recipe with only some slight tweakings here. I made the recipe without the crumbs and popped beans topping, adding a few seeds and basil leaves as garnish.
The photos I took are of a HALF quantity – which was a pretty gernerous dish. The recipe below is for the FULL quantity.
1 butternut squash
1 heaped tbls plain wholemeal flour
500ml semi-skimmed milk
450g dried macaroni
2 tsp English mustard
300g cottage cheese 40g Parmesan cheese
For the topping
1x 400g tin of cannellini beans
2 cloves of garlic
1 tsp dried red chilli flakes
2 sprigs of fresh rosemary
1 slice of wholemeal bread
A handful of toasted seeds (pepitas, linseed, sesame or what ever you have in the store cupboard).
Wash and trim the leek, peel the onion, then finely chop and place in a pan on a medium heat with 1tablespoon of oil. Cook and stir while you carefully halve the squash lengthways and deseed, reserving the seedy core. Chop the squash into 2cm chunks, leaving the skin on, and stir into the pan. Cook for 10 minutes, then stir in the flour, followed by the milk and 500ml of water. Simmer with a lid ajar for 35 minutes, or until the squash is cooked through, stirring occasionally.
Meanwhile, preheat the oven to 180°C. Parboil the macaroni in a large pan of boiling salted water for 5 minutes, then drain and tip back into the pan. Carefully pour the contents of the veg pan into a food processor and blitz until smooth (working in batches, if necessary) to make your sauce. Taste and season to perfection, then pour over the pasta, add the mustard and cottage cheese, finely grate over most of the Parmesan and mix well. Transfer to a high-sided baking dish (30cm x 40cm), then grate over the remaining Parmesan. Bake for around 40 minutes, or until golden and bubbling.
For Jamie’s crumbs and popped beans:
With 15 minutes to go, drain the beans, then toast and dry fry them in a large frying pan on a medium-high heat for 5 minutes, or until popped, shaking occasionally. Peel the garlic and put in the processor with the chilli flakes, seedy squash core, rosemary leaves and bread and blitz into crumbs. Add to the beans, then toast and toss until crisp and gnarly. Serve the pasta with the toasted beans and crumbs on the side. Good with a lemon-dressed salad.
For my topping:
Serve with a handful of toasted seeds scattered on top and a few basil leaves.