MEAL: Butternut squash mac ‘n’ cheese

I moved to Glasgow for work 8 and half years ago (where the hell did all of that time go?) and I bloody love it. There are so many reasons to love it up here but what I don’t like is the weather, football traffic and the amount of beige food that’s on offer. I have never seen so many white carbs. Don’t get me wrong, I bloody love carbs and while I have quickly adopted a potato scone roll in a cold morning at work (no I can’t bring myself to say tattie scone, sorry), there is something utterly wrong about seeing a macaroni pie in a roll on a plate, that’s right, mac ‘n’ cheese, in a pie, IN A ROLL. Go home Scotland, you’re drunk.

It has taken me a long time to get on board with mac ‘n’ cheese, I’m not mad keen on pasta in a cheese sauce, give me pesto or tomatoes all day long please. But when I was down in London catching up with one of my oldest friends, she made me butternut squash mac ‘n’ cheese and it blew my mind. HELLO NEW COMFORT FOOD.

kirsty-mac-cheese

Excuse the dark photograph, I was in the hall using Kirsty’s AMAZING floorboards

So this isn’t my recipe, but it’s 100% my new favourite thing to eat now that it’s baltic outside, naturally I’ve added more vegetables because I’m like a mum trying to sneak even more veg into my diet…

What you need

1 butternut squash (this works out to be about 6 cups raw)
Teaspoon of olive oil
1 onion
2 cloves of garlic
4 tomatoes
Teaspoon of basil (dried is totally fine)
2 cups cauliflower
3 cups pasta
2/3 cup almond milk
6 tablespoons nutritional yeast
Salt and pepper to taste

Serves 4

Y’all know how seduced I am by easy recipes… This is easy. The only difficult thing about this meal is pealing the butternut squash – why are you so tough buddy?

Whack the oven on, slice the tomatoes into wedges, get them in an oven dish, sprinkle with basil (I used dried basil from a jar because I forgot the fresh stuff), it only needs to be on a low heat to roast the tomatoes while you’re cooking the rest. Get them in the oven and leave them until you’re ready.

Peal and dice the squash, then boil until soft, this only takes about 20 minutes. While that’s bubbling away, dice the onions, crush your garlic and get all of that in a frying pan with some olive oil, you really don’t need much oil, if it starts sticking to the pan, just add a little bit of water. Once the onions and garlic turn that delicious translucent, brown colour and start smelling like heaven, they are ready, get them off the heat and into a bowl ready for the butternut squash.

Pasta time, I have no care for the rules that tell you which pasta to use for different dishes – sozzles guys. So here I am using fusilli for mac ‘n’ cheese and I know this will be upsetting a lot of you… I’m sorry, I’m a terrible human I know. Get your pasta of choice and cauliflower into a hot pan of boiling water and boil until it’s ready.

By now, your squash is probably cooked right? Great! Drain away the water and plonk the lot in the bowl with the onions and garlic. Add in the almond milk (but use any plant milk if you don’t have almond handy), nutritional yeast and seasoning to taste. Now I can’t stress this enough, add as little or as much nutritional yeast as you like, 6 tablespoons works for me, but you do you. Blend all of this together until nice and smooth, this is your cheese sauce (aka the best cheese sauce I’ve tried). Once your pasta and cauliflower is cooked, drain the water away and pour it all into the cheese sauce.

Plate this babe up, grab some bowls, spoon out the deliciousness and top with a tomato. Boom.

butternut-squash-mac-and-cheese

I kept 3 of the portions for lunches at work (which do end up looking like baby food – thanks to the guy who pointed that out) but they keep in the fridge and are still tasty reheated.

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