I don’t care what so-called health experts say: carbs are the best.
And when it comes to speedy but satisfying dinners, nothing beats a pasta bake.
Proof if you ever needed one – this butternut squash pasta bake.
The very definition of seasonal (roasted butternut squash! sage!), it’s one of those dishes that somehow manage to reach the perfect balance between healthy (hello, loads of veggies and whole-grain carbs!) and comforting.
And, best of all, it can be made in advance and is super easy to put together – absolutely no Gourd-on Ramsay skills required!
No-nonsense, nutrient-packed… Gourd-geous autumn dinner made simple!
- Half a butternut squash, guts and seeds removed, then roughly diced
- 1 big handful (about 12) cherry tomatoes, halved
- 2 big handfuls baby spinach leaves (about 100g)
- 1 large shallot, sliced lengthwise
- 100g macaroni or other short dry pasta, cooked according to packaging instructions
- 1 ball mozzarella, shredded
- a few sprigs of fresh sage
- 150mL vegetable stock
- olive oil
- 1 tsp smoked paprika
- 1/2 tsp nigella seeds
- salt, pepper
- Pre-heat the oven to 180°C (gas mark 6).
- In a large bowl, mix together the butternut cubes, smoked paprika, 1 tbsp olive oil and a good pinch of salt. Spread onto a baking-paper lined tray and bake for about 40 min or until the squash is well roasted but not burnt.
- In a large oven-proof saucepan (metal or cast iron work well), heat up 1 tbsp olive oil. Add in the chopped shallot and cook for a few minutes. Add the cherry tomatoes and spinach, season and cook for another couple of minutes, then add the stock, cooked pasta and roasted butternut squash. Cook for 5 more minutes then turn off the heat.
- Sprinkle with the nigella seeds and shredded mozzarella, then carefully transfer the pan to the oven and cooked for 10 minutes or until the cheese is melted and slightly browned.
- In the meantime, fry the sage leaves in a small saucepan with 1 tbsp olive oil. Transfer to a paper towel, then sprinkle on top of the dish and serve immediately with a non-compulsory-but-highly-recommended classic autumn movie on the side!
More fall recipes
The best squash soup (VE)