The creamy, nutty flavour of squash complements the al dente texture of
the pasta perfectly. SERVES 4
2 tbsp olive oil
1 garlic clove, crushed
55 g / 2 oz fresh white breadcrumbs
500 g / 1 lb 2 oz butternut squash, peeled and deseeded
8 tbsp water
500 g /1lb 2 oz fresh penne, or other pasta shapes
15 g / 1/2 oz butter
1 onion, sliced
125 g / 4 1/2 oz ham, cut into strips
2oo ml/7 fI oz single cream
55 g/2 oz freshly grated Cheddar cheese
2 tbsp chopped fresh parsley
salt and pepper
Mix the olive oil, garlic and breadcrumbs together and spread out on a large plate. Cook in the microwave on High power for 4—5 minutes, stirring until crisp and starting to brown. Reserve.
Dice the squash, then place in a large bowl with half the water. Cover and cook on High power for 8—9 minutes, stirring occasionally. Leave to stand for 2 minutes.
Place the pasta in a large bowl, add a little salt and pour over enough boiling water to cover by 2.5 cm/1 inch. Cover and cook on High power for 5 minutes, stirring once, until the pasta is just tender but still firm to the bite. Leave to stand, covered, for 1 minute before draining.
Place the butter and onion in a large bowl. Cover and cook on High power for 3 minutes.
Using a fork, coarsely mash the squash. Add to the onion with the pasta, ham, cream, cheese, parsley and remaining water. Season generously and mix well. Cover and cook on High power for 4 minutes, or until heated through.
Transfer the pasta to a large, warmed serving dish, sprinkle with the garlic crumbs and serve.
Creamy butternut squash sauce