Summer cooking means sometimes comfort food can make you feel heavy, sluggish and anything but comfortable. However if you put a few twists on it you can still make something light but warming. This summer twist on mac n cheese will give you the home comforts, without you feeling like a nap afterwards. Serves 4 people.
What you need…
1 buttnernut squash
1 mugful frozen peas
1 tbsp pine nuts
1 slice of granary bread
200g diced pancetta
handful fresh parsley
1 red chilli
½ tub of half-fat creme fraiche
½ tub of ricotta
50g grated cheddar
50g grated parmesan
125g bag of fresh spinach
What you do…
- Preheat the oven to 200°c (or 180°c for fan assisted ovens)
- Peel, deseed and chop the butternut squash into bite-sized chunks
- Toss with some olive oil and roast in the oven for 15-20 mins until browned and softened
- Boil some water and cook the macoroni as per instructions
- 3 mins before the end of the pasta boiling add in the peas
- Whilst the pasta is cooking, toast the pine nuts lightly in a dry frying pan and set aside
- Fry the pancetta in the same pan until crispy and brown, set aside on kitchen towel to soak up the excess fat.
- Toast the granary bread and then blitz in a food processor or smash in a sandwich bag with a rolling pin to make breadcrumbs. Set aside.
- Finely chop the parsely and the chilli and set aside
- Drain the pasta and peas and set to the side with a drizzle of olive oil to stop it drying out.
- Mix the ricotta and creme fraiche together in the empty saucepan on a low heat.
- Add in half the cheddar and half the parmesan and mix until melted through.
- Stir in the drained pasta and pease along with the spinach and keep stirring until the spinach wilts.
- Add in the chilli, parsley, buttnernut squash and pancetta and keep stirring slowly until all combined.
- Pop into an oven proof dish.
- Sprinkle the remaining cheese over the pasta and scatter the pine nuts and breadcrumbs on the top.
- Bake for 20-30 mins until the pasta is bubbling and the topping is slighty brown and crispy.
- Serve with a side salad or steamed broccoli.