On Sunday the kids and I spent a long day rampaging at Lyme Park (blogging next – it was so wonderful), which meant the planned visit to Aldi on the way home was cancelled. Bea fell asleep in the car and Arthur was on the verge so I sacked it off (I am ALL about making the easier choice nowadays!). When we got home Ad was comatose on the sofa after a big party in Manchester the night before. And there was hardly any food in the house. Disaster was imminent.
Instead of giving in to Ad’s suggestion of a takeaway (what was that thing I just sad about making life easy?!) I raided the kitchen, scouring the fridge and picking through random bits and bobs. We had a some veggies, in the shape of a squash and some mushies. We also had milk, butter and pasta – but only after an emergency visit to our local Spar. I rustled up this comforting Autumn bake. And do you know what? It wasn’t half bad.
Arthur is still challenging me with his veg hating phase, so I’ll admit to you (only you though) that he kind of just ate the pasta! But Bea loved it, eating up every bit of veg she could get her pudgy hands on. That’s my girl.
Oh also, I have decided that when I make something like this from now on, I will always make double. I know, I know, other mums have been ‘batch cooking’ for, like, yonks – what can I say, I’m slow on the uptake. The extra one on this occasion was a mushroom and tuna bake (the same as this minus squash plus a tin of tune mixed in). I stashed it in the fridge (pre baking) to be eaten later that week. It’s come in really today as we have a friend over all afternoon then a little party straight after school. The amounts below are for 1 bake.
The sauce is my super duper all in one microwave method – if you haven’t used this before then let me tell you, you’ve been missing out – it’s going to change your life. Seriously.
Prep time: 25 minutes
Cook time: 20 minutes
Total time: 45 minutes
1 squash, peeled and cubed
1 tablespoon olive oil
150g white mushrooms, sliced
300g pasta (I used penne)
For the microwave all in one cheese sauce:
1 teaspoon wholegrain mustard
50g cheddar cheese, grated
Salt and pepper
- Preheat oven to about 180C. Toss squash in olive oil and roast for about 20-25 mins. Until soft.
- Meanwhile, cook the pasta in salted water for 2 minutes less than the packet says – about 7 minutes. Drain.
- Make the cheese sauce by putting milk, flour and butter in a jug. Micro for about 7 minutes on High. Every 30 seconds to 1 minute, whisk the mixture. First the ingredients will melt, then it will thicken. As soon as it’s thick, add the cheese, mustard and seasoning.
- Add sliced mushrooms to a large pasta bake dish. Tip in the pasta. Now the squash. And the sauce. Mix well. Bake for about 20-25 minutes at the same heat as before.
- Serve with peas or a salad.