Here’s my favourite comfort food recipe – quite easy to do (a bit of faff to dice a squash but worth it). I think it might have been a Jamie Oliver recipe originally but it’s a firm favourite – even with my incredibly picky son. I’ve tried to do a low fat version of it but it sucked – so stick to this recipe and enjoy!
- 1 large butternut squash
- Olive oil
- 3 cloves of garlic, peeled and sliced
- 400g dried pasta
- 100ml crème fraiche – I used half fat
- 100g mature cheddar, grated
- 12 slices of pancetta
- Salt and fresh ground pepper
1Preheat Oven to 200C, 400F, Gas 6.
2Peel the squash, halve and deseed. Chop into medium sized chunks.
3Put a pan on a medium heat, add a splash of olive oil and gently fry the garlic till it turns brown.
4Add the squash and a small glass of water. Cover with a lid and keep cooking on a medium heat until the squash has softened.
5Uncover and boil until the liquid around the squash has almost completely reduced down. (If you have fresh herbs in your garden like sage or thyme you can add a few leaves to the squash as it cooks down – it adds a wonderful herby flavour to the finished dish).
6Remove from the heat, mash the squash and season with salt and pepper
7Cook the pasta in boiling salted water according to packet instructions, then drain.
8Toss the pasta in a bowl with the mashed squash and crème fraiche, so everything mixes together evenly.
9Stir in most of your grated cheddar cheese, season well with salt and pepper and spoon the whole lot into a large baking dish.
10Sprinkle the remaining cheddar over the pasta and then top with pancetta
11Bake in the oven for 30 minutes, or until warmed through and bubbling, and the pancetta is golden brown and crispy.
Picture of it is before baking – looks much nicer when cooked!
By Sally Reeve Edwards