Leaves on the ground. Check. Temptation to put the heating on. Check. Getting darker earlier. Check. Urgent need for comfort food. Check. Yep, it’s autumn.
As the nights draw in, I love filling my cupboards with pasta, chocolate and cans of soup whilst also making sure there’s plenty of red wine in the rack too. Oreo cookies washed down with Malbec is a great supper when it’s too cold to venture out for supplies! :-)
Seriously though, here’s a scrummy autumnal recipe that will hopefully make you feel all warm inside… and full as well!
Butternut Squash and Ricotta stuffed Cannelloni topped with Chestnuts
– 1 butternut squash
– 2 tablespoons olive oil
– 1 tablespoon of thyme leaves picked
– 100g Ricotta cheese
– 2 large handfuls of finely grated Parmesan
– ¼ whole nutmeg, finely grated
– Cannelloni (8-10 tubes)
– 150ml white wine
– 150ml double cream
– 1 clove of garlic, crushed
– Packet of vac-packed Chestnuts
1. Preheat oven to 200°/Gas Mark 6/400°F. Peel and dice the butternut squash. Put into a bowl with 2 tablespoons of olive oil and a tablespoon of picked thyme leaves. Season and mix well before turning out onto an oven tray. Roast for 35 minutes or until tender and golden. Remove from the oven and mash up with a potato masher. Leave your oven on for baking the pasta later.
2. Mix together 100g of ricotta, 1 large handful of grated Parmesan and ¼ whole nutmeg grated in a bowl. Add the mashed butternut squash, mix everything really well and season to taste.
3. Now get the cannelloni and stuff it with the butternut squash mixture. I used a piping bag without a nozzle to do mine. If you haven’t got a piping bag you can do the old Jamie Oliver trick of using a large sandwich bag with one of the corners snipped off. Any leftover mix can be spread along the sides of your ovenproof dish.
4. To make a creamy sauce to top the pasta, mix the double cream, white wine and garlic together on a low heat. Heat until it has reduced by about half. Season and pour over the filled pasta. Finally scatter over the other handful of Parmesan along with a large handful of roughly chopped vac-packed chestnuts. Bake for 20-25 minutes until the pasta is cooked. Serve with some buttered spinach to compliment the sweetness of the pasta dish. Eat before finding yourself a duvet and hitting the sofa.