This simple butternut and cheese penne only costs £1.45 and is the perfect cheap, quick and easy family meal. Use dried penne pasta and fresh butternut squash peeled and cubed so it cooks quicker. You could use sweet potato instead of butternut squash if preferred. Dried chilli flakes add a kick to this dish but leave them out if you or the kids are not a fan of spice. Sprinkle with pieces of soft goat’s cheese and watch it melt. If you have any leftovers, place in an airtight container and store in the fridge. This dish can be served warm or cold the next day.
- 2tbsps oil
- 1 onion, peeled and chopped
- 1 clove garlic, peeled and chopped
- 1tsp dried chilli flakes, optional
- 1 butternut squash, peeled, deseeded and cubed (about 800g/1½lb prepared weight)
- 400ml hot chicken or vegetable stock
- 250g penne
- About 20 sage leaves
- 3tbsps vegetable oil
- 125g goat’s cheese
- 2tbsps pine nuts, toasted
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper
Warm the oil in a large frying pan over a medium heat and cook the onion for 5 mins, stirring occasionally. Add the garlic and chilli flakes, if using, then the squash and stock. Simmer until the squash is tender and the stock almost absorbed — about 15 mins.
Meanwhile, cook the penne in a pan of boiling salted water for 8-10 mins, and fry the sage leaves, a few at a time, in a small pan, in the oil. Drain them on kitchen paper. Drain the pasta and tip into the squash mixture.
Serve the pasta in hot bowls, top with broken cheese pieces, pine nuts, seasoning and the fried sage leaves. Drizzle with the sage-flavoured oil, if you want.
Use small chunks of mature Cheddar instead of goat’s cheese, if you prefer. Sprinkle portions with freshly grated Parmesan, for an extra treat!