A velvety vegetable addition to a cheesy, creamy pasta dish that soothes a furrowed brow and warms a chilly child.
- 1 medium butternut squash, peeled, cubed
- 2 tbsp Olive Oil
- 250g ricotta
- Handful sage leaves
- 40g plain flour
- 40g butter, with the paper for greasing
- 600ml milk
- ½ tsp Nutmeg
- 100g cheddar
- 150g mascarpone
- 150g baby spinach, washed and roughly chopped
- 200g cannelloni tubes
- 40g parmesan, grated
Pre heat the oven to 200 /180 fan.
First roast the squash, in a large roasting tin tossed in olive oil and seasoned with salt and pepper, with a few of the sage leaves ripped over the top.
Place in the oven for 30-40 minutes, removing once or twice to turn the pieces and keep the cooking even.
Whilst it's cooking, make your bechémel sauce. Melt the butter in a large saucepan over low heat, then whisk in the flour slowly, and evenly until a doughy paste is formed. Then begin adding the milk ladle by ladle until it incorporates completely, until the sauce is thick enough to cover the back of a spoon. Grate in the nutmeg some salt and pepper, and stir through the cheddar and mascarpone to create a creamy, cheesy, velvety sauce.
Grease a rectangular baking dish, and cover the bottom with a layer of the white sauce. Reserve the remainder.
When the squash is soft through, tip into a bowl, add the spinach and mash with the ricotta and a the remaining chopped sage leaves. You can do this in a food processor if you want speed and a smoother finish.
Fill the cannelloni tubes with the squash mixture and place on the cheese sauce in the dish until full. Then pour over the rest of the sauce and top with some parmesan and salt and pepper.
Bake in the oven for 20-30 minutes until golden brown on top. Serve with a crisp green salad or some greens.