Roast pumpkin, blue cheese and sage baked macaroni

4
60 minutes

Ingredients

  • 500g of pumpkin, prepared weight, deseeded and cut into 4cm chunks (you can peel if the skin is very thick, but I usually leave it on)
  • 20 sage leaves, finely chopped, plus 5 whole leaves for garnish
  • 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped
  • 1 tsp smoked paprika
  • 40g of butter
  • 40g of plain flour
  • 500ml of semi-skimmed milk
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg, freshly grated
  • 125g of blue cheese, crumbled
  • 225g of macaroni pasta
  • 40g of breadcrumbs
  • 4 tbsp of grated Parmesan
  • olive oil
  • salt
  • pepper

Method

1
Preheat the oven to 190°C/gas mark 5
2
Toss the pumpkin pieces with 1 tbsp olive oil, salt and pepper, the paprika, garlic, and half the sage
3
Roast for 30 minutes or until tender, tossing occasionally so the pieces brown evenly
4
Meanwhile, heat the butter in a large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the flour and cook, stirring for a minute. Pour in the milk gradually, whisking constantly, then simmer for 5 minutes until you have a thick white sauce
5
Remove from the heat, grate in the nutmeg and stir in the blue cheese. Season to taste
6
Cook the macaroni in boiling salted water for around 7 minutes, or until just al dente (you want it to be slightly undercooked as it will cook further in the oven). Drain and add to the cheese sauce; mix well
7
Pour the macaroni into an oven dish and mix with the roast pumpkin
8
Mix the breadcrumbs with the remaining sage and the Parmesan. Scatter over the top of the pasta in the dish and bake for 20 minutes
9
Leave to rest for a couple of minutes before serving. Garnish with the remaining sage leaves and serve with a fresh green salad (peppery leaves like watercress and rocket are good at cutting through the rich cheese)