Food & Drink Magazine

Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake

By Mariealicerayner @MarieRynr
Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake 
Today was "Torture Todd with Pasta Day."  I know, I am a really meanie.  He is not fond of pasta.  I love pasta.   Sometimes I just need to indulge.  
Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake 
Its not something we have really often, so I don't think he can really complain, do you?   Don't worry he doesn't really complain.  He just kinda grins and bears it.  That's the kind of guy he is.  I usually make up for it by serving a killer pud for him.
Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake 
Which I can't really eat, so I guess we are even steven.  I really shouldn't be eating much in the way of pasta either, so I make up for it by using a low gi whole wheat pasta which works very well.  
Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake 
I adore butternut squash.  Funny that as when I was a kid I did not like squash at all, but now a an adult I love it.  It goes very well in this delicious pasta bake.  The color of it almost fools you into thinking that there is more cheese in it than there is!
Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake 
With a light creamy sauce which uses a bit of cream and some milk . . .  I have combined cubed butternut squash with  small amounts of two cheeses, ground almonds, spring onions and parsley, as well as of course the pasta and a bit of extra flavor from the water in which you cooked the squash.
Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake 
You sprinkle the top with flaked almonds and a bit more cheese prior to baking.
Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake 
The nuts toast and the cheese melts . . .  the sauce ooozes up and bubbles in between the pasta and chunks of squash  . . .  and it all melds together into a delicious satisfying vegetarian bake that pleases on many levels.   All you need on the side is  salad and some crusty bread.  Scrummo!
Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake 
*Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake*Serves 4Printable Recipe
 
This is creamy and delicious.  A whole meal in itself.  Serve with some crusty bread and a salad on the side. 
For the sauce:25g butter (2 TBS)1 TBS plain flour125ml milk (1/2 cup)150ml cream (2/3 cup)salt and black pepper to tastepinch nutmeg
You will also need:500g fusilli pasta, uncooked (2 cups)500g of butternut squash, peeled and cut into coarse cubes(a generous pound)30g ground almonds (1/4 cup)1 TBS finely chopped fresh parsley3 spring onions, trimmed and finely sliced20g finely grated Parmesan cheese (1/4 cup)60g of grated strong cheddar cheese (1/2 cup)
To top:20g grated strong cheddar cheese (3 TBS)20g flaked almonds (1/4 cup)  
Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake 
Preheat the oven to 180*C/350*F/ gas mark 4.   Have ready a buttered medium sized deep baking dish. 
First make the sauce.   Melt the butter in a small saucepan until it foams, add the flour.  Cook and stir for a minute.  Slowly whisk in the milk and the cream.  Bring to the boil, whisking contantly.  Reduce to simmer and cook on low for several minutes, until nicely thickened.  Season to taste with salt, pepper and nutmeg.  Set aside and keep warm.
Boil or steam the butternut squash until fork tender, about ten minutes.  Drain well, reserving 125ml (1/2 cup) of the cooking liquid.  Place the drained squash into a large bowl, along with the ground almonds, parsley, spring onions, and both cheeses.   Add the reserved cooking liquid. Toss gently to combine. 
Cook the pasta according to package directions and drain well.  Add to the butternut squash mixture along with the cream sauce.  Mix together gently to combine.  Pour into a deep baking dish and shake to distribute evenly.  Sprinkle with the remaining cheese and almonds.  Bake for half an hour until golden brown.  Serve hot.  
Cheesy Butternut Pasta Bake 
This is really, really good.  I hope you will give it a go!  Bon Appetit!

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