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3-veg mac ‘n’ cheese

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Sneak vegetables into macaroni cheese, a popular family meal that becomes even more nourishing for kids with the addition of butternut squash, leeks and peas

Ingredients

  • 150g butternut squash, cut into chunks
  • 300g penne (we used Napolina 50% white 50% wholemeal)
  • 40g butter
  • 1 small leek, finely sliced (about 50g)
  • 25g flour
  • 600ml milk
  • 100g frozen peas
  • 175g mature Cheddar cheese (we used a vegetarian version)
  • 1 slice day-old brown bread, blitzed into crumbs

Method

  • STEP 1

    Heat oven to 200C/fan 180C/gas 6. Put the butternut squash in a steamer over boiling water. Steam for around 15-20 mins or until tender. Drain and then blitz in a food processor until smooth.

  • STEP 2

    Cook the pasta according to the pack instructions.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the butter in a medium saucepan, add the leek and cook for 2 mins. Stir in the flour and cook for 1-2 mins more. Take the pan off the heat and gradually whisk in the milk. Return to the heat and bring to the boil, stirring all the time. Simmer for 5 mins. Stir in the peas and bring back to a simmer. Take the pan off the heat and stir in the butternut squash, then 125g cheese.

  • STEP 4

    Stir the pasta into the sauce and transfer to an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the remaining cheese and the breadcrumbs. Bake for 20 mins or until golden and bubbling.

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