Jamie Oliver already proved to us that mac n cheese works when you add vegetables to it with his cauliflower mac ‘n cheese. This version contains butternut which brings a great sweetness and texture to the rich, cheesy sauce… and you don’t have to make a bechamel, which is always a bonus.
Mac n cheese with butternut
1 large butternut, peeled, deseeded and chopped into chunks
2 – 3 cups chicken stock
1 1/2 cups low fat milk
1/4 cup low fat natural yoghurt
1 1/2 teaspoons mustard powder
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon fresh ground black pepper
1 cup grated Gruyere cheese
1 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1 cup grated white cheddar cheese
200g smoked Pancetta lardons
Put the butternut into a large pot with enough stock to cover it and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for 20 minutes.
While the butternut is cooking, cook the macaroni according to the package instructions, drain and set aside. Fry the pancetta lardons in a pan and place on a piece of kitchen roll to drain.
Remove the butternut from the heat, add the milk, yoghurt, mustard powder, salt and pepper and blend until smooth with an immersion blender. (Alternatively pour all of it into your food processor). Stir in the Gruyere and Parmesan cheeses, macaroni and pancetta and pour everything into a large roasting tin. Don’t worry if it seems runny, it will firm up when it bakes.
Cover with the grated cheddar and bake in the preheated oven for 20 minutes. Then flick over to the grill setting for a couple of minutes to brown the cheese. Keep an eye on it because it burns quickly.
Serves 6 – 8