Butternut Mac ’n’ Cheese
(Approx 440 kcal per serving)
1 butternut squash (you need 500g)
1 small onion
100g macaroni pasta
50g sugar snap peas
40g Cheddar cheese
1 tablespoon softened butter
20g plain flour
270ml low fat milk (1.5% fat)
1 teaspoon mustard
salt (optional) and freshly ground black pepper
Trim the butternut squash and cut in half – you need 500g. Remove the seeds and peel, then dice the flesh. Cut the onion in half, then peel and very finely chop. Cut the sugar snap peas in half. Finely grate in 40g of Cheddar cheese and put on a plate.
Steam the butternut squash for 10-12 minutes or until tender when pierced with the tip of a sharp knife. Transfer half of it into a tall container and blend to a puree with a hand blender (or use a potato masher).
Melt the butter in a small pan over a medium to low heat. Sauté the onion for 2-3 minutes until softened but not coloured. Stir in the flour and cook for 1 minute, stirring quickly with a wooden spoon to make a smooth glossy paste (which is called a roux).
Gradually pour in the milk, whisking until smooth after each addition. Season lightly with salt (optional) and plenty of freshly ground black pepper. Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer gently for 5 minutes, stirring occasionally, until smooth and thickened. Add the mustard with the cheese. Stir to combine and then remove from the heat. Finally fold in the butternut puree.
Preheat the oven to 180°C (350°F), gas mark 4. Bring the macaroni pasta to the boil in a pan of boiling water with a pinch of salt (optional), then reduce the heat and cook for 7-8 minutes. Drain in a colander in the sink and return to the pan. Stir in the butternut cheese sauce and once evenly combined gently fold in the rest of the steamed butternut squash.
Transfer to two 350ml individual ovenproof dishes on a baking sheet. Season with pepper.
Bake in the oven for 20-25 minutes until bubbling and lightly golden.
When the mac ‘n’ cheese is almost ready. Place the sugar snap peas in a steamer and cook for 1 minute until just tender. Arrange the butternut mac ‘n’ cheese on plates and season with pepper. Put the sugar snap peas alongside to serve.