After our visit to the pumpkin patch, I felt inspired to create some new dishes with squash. At first, I was going to go down the usual route of making a soup or risotto, but I have done both of those things before and wanted to try a couple of new things. It’s actually a tricky ingredient to ‘hero’ in a dish. As it’s quite soft when cooked, it can make everything seem a bit mushy if it’s not soup or just roasted as it is with some spices. Cannelloni seemed like the perfect option for using some of the squash up as it would be blitzed up anyway and I could get maximum flavour out of it.
Anything autumnal and comforting makes me excited and it was such a nice dinner. Having food that is meat free is also a good thing as I try to be versatile with my meals and enjoy one meat free one a week if I can. Cannelloni is a bit of a faff to make, I’ll be the first to admit that, but it is so worth it. I haven’t had cannelloni since I was at secondary school and I don’t know why, as it’s so bloody good! The good thing about using something like squash is that you can put a variety of flavours with it, including different cheeses. I chose roquefort as I love a creamy blue cheese, and it went so well with the squash. It was just subtle enough to know it was there.
This recipe serves 4-6 depending on the size of your roasting tin and I had leftovers for lunch and my freezer batch which is a win!
Prep – 20 minutes.
Cooking time – 1 hr 30 minutes.
- 1 medium onion, sliced.
- 1 tsp lazy garlic.
- 500g diced butternut squash.
- Handful fresh sage leaves.
- 150g roquefort.
- 200ml half fat creme fraiche.
- 1 lemon – zest and juice.
- Salt and Pepper.
- 1 tsp curry powder.
- 1 tbsp smoked paprika.
- Cannelloni tubes (I’ll leave it up to you how many you use).
- 1 tbsp olive oil.
- 40g grated parmesan.
- 100g grated cheddar.
- 40g butter.
- 30g plain flour.
- 500ml vegetable stock.
- 1 tsp dijon mustard.
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees.
- Add the onion, garlic, squash, curry powder and smoked paprika to a large roasting tin. Drizzle with olive oil and stir all the ingredients together.
- Cook the vegetables for 40 minutes.
- While the squash is roasting in the oven, make the bechamel sauce to cover the cannelloni. You just need to make a roux by melting the butter and adding the flour. Whisk together, then gradually add the vegetable stock. When the sauce is at a consistency of your liking, add a handful of cheddar cheese and the dijon mustard. Season with salt and pepper and set to one side.
- When the squash is cooked, add it to a food processor, along with the roquefort, sage, creme fraiche and lemon zest and juice.
- Blitz to a paste and season with salt and pepper. As the cheese is quite salty, be careful with the amount of salt you add.
- Fill your cannelloni with the filling. This is definitely where I need to invest in some piping bags to make this job a lot quicker! Would highly recommend using one if you have one.
- Pour your bechamel sauce over the top then sprinkle with the additional cheddar and parmesan cheese.
- Cook for 40 minutes on 180 and serve straight from the oven!