Sunday, 3 February 2013
Three cheese butternut squash spaghetti bake
Where on earth do the hours go? I'd planned to write this post yesterday, but between watching 3 episodes of Dexter (the end of season 7, omg!) and reading half a book, I somehow didn't find the time. Hey, I'd been working hard all week! Saturday is a day for rest. Unfortunately, today has also been fairly restful, and before I know it, it will be Monday again and I will have achieved nothing all weekend. Not ideal.
Anyway, if you only do one thing all weekend like I do, make this pasta bake. Three types of cheese (um, I might be slightly off the wagon), along with slightly sweet roasted butternut squash and lots and lots of pasta. Spaghetti's not my usual choice for a pasta bake, but I loved it - I think spaghetti bakes might be a new favourite.
This bake would easily serve 4 hungry people, or more like 6-8 if served alongside something else. It was perfectly moist when freshly baked (the soft squash adds a gorgeous creaminess to the sauce), but I will warn you, it became just a little dry when left for the next day. I still ate it perfectly happily (it tastes amazing), but if you're making this for guests, I'd definitely bake it just before serving so you get the full effect of the creamy ricotta and melty mozzarella.
Has there ever been an occasion where it's not worth making something with 'three cheese' in the title?
(No. There hasn't.)
Three cheese butternut pasta bake
1 small butternut squash
250g ricotta cheese
70g cheddar cheese, grated
1/2tsp garlic granules
Pinch of nutmeg
250g fresh spinach, roughly chopped
125g fresh mozzarella, sliced
Heat the oven to 200°C (Gas Mark 6 / 400°F). Peel the butternut squash, and chop into 1cm dice. Toss with the oil and plenty of salt and pepper, and roast for 30 minutes, stirring halfway.
Meanwhile, boil the spaghetti until al dente, and then drain.
Beat the ricotta with the cheddar, milk, garlic granules and a small pinch of nutmeg. Mix this sauce with the spaghetti, roughly chopped spinach and, once it's finished roasting, the butternut squash. Transfer the mixture to a large baking dish or casserole dish, and spread out evenly. Try to ensure the vegetables and cheese are evenly distributed throughout the pasta.
Top with more black pepper and the sliced mozzarella, and bake for a further 25 minutes. If desired, finish it off under the grill (broiler) to brown the cheese.