Butternut Squash Mac n’ Cheese

A few things in this world makes us wonder what it would be like to be a kid today... Imagine having non-stop access to Youtube? Or TikTok? We are all watching with awe how a 16 year old defies her basic right to education to speak out on climate change whilst not being able vote yet. Today, kids have more control over media and incresing concious for better environment and better food. 

This post wasn't supposed to be about politics but just to share a super simple recipe from our friends at Fuel For Learning - a healthy, wholefoods school catering company set up by Nuno Mendes (Chiltern Firehouse), his partner, Clarise and their chef friend Damian Currie (previously Lardo). Based in East London, Fuel4Learning are on a mission to make school food nutritious, delicious and sustainable. All food is cooked fresh, as nature intended, and there is no 'kiddie food' in sight! Imagine having your daily vegetarian menu delivered by Nuno and Damian... We want to be that kid, please. 

We share this recipe for their Butternut Mac n' Cheese as the kid inside us always craves for a comforting classic.  Whether you're feeding the kids too or just fancy a bit of comfort food on a Saturday night in, we recommend giving this one a try!

Serves 4

Ingredients

  • 400g bite size ‘short’ dried pasta like maccheroni, penne or fusilli
  • 1 butternut squash, peeled & diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 2 small onions, diced
  • 200g mozzarella (or plant-based mozzarella), grated
  • 30g vegetarian hard cheese, grated
  • 4 heaped tablespoons of mascarpone (or an oat-based cream works well too)
  • Few sage leaves
  • Crispy onions or bread crumbs to finish

 

Method

Toss the diced squash with some olive oil, salt & pepper and roast in a hot oven (220c) until soft & golden (about 15 mins). Fry the onions and garlic in a little olive oil until soft, sweet and just starting to catch the bottom of the pan. You want them slightly golden and caramelised.

When both the squash and the onions are ready, blitz with a little water using a stick blender until super smooth. Add the cream, sage leaves and then the hard cheese. When adding the grated cheese let it sit on top of the warm sauce for a minute or so without stirring it in. This will allow the proteins in the cheese to relax and it will melt in nicely without going claggy and sticking to your spoon. 

Stir, season and set your sauce to one side. It should be the consistency of a velvety soup.

Cook the pasta, drain and stir into the sauce. Pour out onto a casserole dish, sprinkle the mozzarella over the top and grill in the oven until golden and bubbling.

Mac n' Cheese is great with something crunchy to balance the texture. We like it with crispy onions, but breadcrumbs work well too.

Serve with steamed broccoli or a little tomato salad! Che buona!

Mac n Cheese