Spicy Butternut Mac and Cheese with Garlic Croutons
Spicy Butternut Mac and Cheese with Garlic Croutons
Spicy Butternut Mac and Cheese with Garlic Croutons makes the best comfort food, perfect dinner for a cold evening
Ingredients
FOR THE BUTTERNUT SAUCE
  • 415 g / 3 cups peeled and cubed butternut squash
  • 310 ml / 1¼ cups water
  • 250 ml milk / 1 cup milk
  • 2 teaspoons minced or finely chopped garlic
  • 1 teaspoon or less chilli powder depending on how spicy you prefer
  • ¼ cup cream or milk to use when blending the butternut
  • 1 cup grated cheese I used cheddar
  • 450 g pasta any shape or variety is fine to use
  • About 4 leaves of chopped kale optional
  • salt and pepper to taste
FOR THE GARLIC CROUTONS
  • 3 or 4 slices of bread cut into 3cm / 2 inch cubes do not remove the crust
  • 30 ml / 2 Tablespoons oil
  • 30 g margarine
  • 2 cloves of garlic crushed
  • 1 teaspoon dried mixed herbs
  • ½ teaspoon crushed dried chilli flakes
Instructions
FOR THE BUTTERNUT SAUCE
  1. Combine the butternut, water, milk, and garlic and chilli powder ( if using )in a saucepan over medium-high heat. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to medium and until the butternut is tender. This should take about 15 minutes. Allow to cool before pouring into a blender with some milk or cream and blend until smooth. 

  2. Pour into a pot and add grated cheese and dried chilli flakes ( if using) Set aside

  3. Boil the pasta according to the package instructions. Cook the pasta just until al dente, the pasta should not be too soft, it should be cooked but be still a little firm.
  4. When the macaroni has just 5 minutes left to cook, toss in the chopped kale ( if using)
  5. Strain out the water from the macaroni and kale and fold into the prepared butternut sauce. Top with garlic croutons and parmesan if you prefer.
FOR THE GARLIC CROUTONS
  1. Simmer oil, butter or margarine, garlic, dried mixed herbs and crushed chillies in a pan. Allow this to simmer just until the butter or margarine has melted.
  2. Remove from the heat and allow the flavours to infuse while you chop up your bread.
  3. Cut bread into 3 inch cubes. Drizzle the oil or roll the bread cubes in the oil until evenly coated.
  4. You can either bake the seasoned bread cubes at 180°C in the oven for 15 minutes or fry them in a pan, on the stove for 15 minutes, just until they are crunchy.Remove the croutons from the heat arrange on the macaroni with grated parmesan if you prefer.