Butternut squash is not just a vegetable. When cooked and blended into a puree, it becomes a silky, creamy sauce. For those wanting to carb-load, you can shovel down this macaroni pasta bake in the knowledge that you are not eating loads of cheese. Be warned, though, not all butternut squash are equal. Bigger are not better – they tend to be woolly and don’t give the sweet, chestnutty flavour and luxurious texture you can get from smaller squash.
For the thyme pesto
½ bunch of thyme
1 small bunch of parsley
1 bunch of basil
30g hard cheese (optional)
30ml olive oil
1 clove of garlic
10g roasted pistachios
10ml lemon juice
For the rest
500g peeled butternut squash
1 large onion
150ml white wine
400ml vegetable stock
6 cloves minced garlic
1 tsp oregano
½ bunch of thyme
1 tsp paprika
¼ tsp chilli
½ tsp salt
2 slices of stale sourdough
Salt and black pepper
Blitz all the pesto ingredients until smooth.
Heat the oven to 200C (180C fan)/400F/gas mark 6.
Dice the butternut squash into 1 cm cubes. Put 200g of it on a greased baking tray and bake in the oven for 25 minutes.
Finely chop the onion and fry with a glug of olive oil until translucent, then add the remaining butternut squash. Add the wine and stock and bring to a simmer.
Add half the minced garlic along with the herbs, spices and salt and simmer for 20 minutes (or until the butternut squash is soft).
While this is simmering, cook your macaroni al dente.
Blend the squash mix until smooth.
Mix the rest of the garlic through the sauce then add to the pasta. Mix in the roasted butternut squash and spinach, then transfer to a baking dish.
Blitz the stale bread into breadcrumbs and toss with salt, black pepper and 15ml olive oil.
Blob the pesto over the top, then sprinkle the breadcrumbs on top and bake for 20-25 minutes.
Serve with your favourite green salad with a zingy dressing.
Source: Thanks https://www.theguardian.com/food/2020/mar/18/david-atherton-recipe-butternut-pasta-bake-squash