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butternut squash mac ‘n’ cheese

recipe by amy lanza

extract from “from beder’s kitchen” (buy here)

preparation time: 10-15 minutes cooking time: 1 hour serves 2

A warming, comforting bowl of the classic with a plant-based and healthier twist. The sauce is thick, creamy, flavoursome and vibrant with added vegetables; a great meal to show off how vibrant, wholesome and delicious vegan food can be.

ingredients for the sauce

  • 12 a butternut squash (200-250g flesh)
  • 4 tbsp plant-based milk 2 tbsp tahini or olive oil
  • 2 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp each of smoked paprika, ground turmeric and Dijon mustard

method for the sauce

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°c fan and line a tray with baking parchment.
  2. Place the butternut squash cut side up on the tray and drizzle with a bit of olive oil.
  3. Roast in the oven for 40 to 50 minutes or until tender and starting to brown at the edges. Remove from the oven and allow to cool.
  4. Scoop out and discard the seeds, then scoop out the flesh and place it in a food processor with the remaining ingredients. Blend until smooth, scraping down the sides as necessary and seasoning to taste.
  5. You may need to add a splash more milk to make a runnier sauce. This can be made up to 2 days in advance when kept cool in an airtight container in the fridge.

ingredients for the pasta

  • Olive oil
  • Half a white onion, finely diced
  • 1 small courgette, finely diced
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed
  • 1 tbsp tamari
  • 180g pasta of your choice
  • 160g frozen peas
  • 1 handful of spinach, chopped
  • 10 cherry tomatoes, halved

method for the pasta

  1. Heat a good drizzle of olive oil in a saucepan and fry the onion for 10 minutes until caramelising and translucent. Now add the courgette and garlic and continue to fry for 5 to 7 minutes until cooked through, adding the tamari for the last minute.
  2. Meanwhile, cook the pasta according to the packet instructions, adding the peas for the final 5 minutes. Drain, reserving some of the cooking water, and leave to one side.

ingredients for the cheesy' topping

  • 1 tbsp shelled hemp seeds
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • Quarter tsp ground turmeric

method for the ‘cheesy' topping

  1. Make the topping by mixing all the ingredients together in a bowl. Season to taste.

to serve

  1. Return the cooked pasta to the saucepan then add the onion and courgette mixture, chopped spinach, tomatoes, butternut sauce and four tablespoons of the cooking water. Stir the pasta over a low heat until creamy and well coated in sauce, adding more cooking water if required.
  2. Divide the pasta between two bowls and sprinkle over the 'cheesy' hemp topping.

amy lanza (nourishing.amy)

“I am passionate about mental health and encouraging conversation so we can all live happier and healthier lives, one step at a time. I try to do small things every day like starting the morning with a cosy hot drink in bed, repeating a few affirmations and switching off from social media at a set time. I try to be as open as possible with my feelings at home and with friends. I practice self-care each day, too, from a comforting latte to unwinding with a bubble bath, going for a walk in the fresh air and enjoying good food.”

From Beder's Kitchen is a charity cook book containing a collection of recipes and reflections from amazing foodies around the world including head and executive chefs at some of the UK's leading restaurants; MasterChef winners; TV chefs; food bloggers; nutritionists; best-selling authors; a Great British Bake Off winner and mental health advocates.
All proceeds from From Beder’s Kitchen support Beder in its work to raise awareness around mental health and suicide prevention. FIND OUT MORE HERE