Ingredients for 4 people:
1 small butternut squash, chopped into bite size pieces
1 tbsp of dijon mustard
160g uncooked quinoa
200g grated cheese (I used a combination of Parmesan and Cheddar)
Preheat the oven to 190 C.
Peel and de-seed the butternut squash and then chop into bite size pieces. Put in a saucepan of boiling water and boil for around 15 minutes until tender.
After about 5 minutes cook the quinoa according to the packet's instructions. My quinoa needed to be rinsed first and then I put 160g in a saucepan with 800ml of boiling water. I covered the pan and left it to simmer for 15-18 minutes until all the water had been absorbed and the quinoa was tender.
Drain the butternut squash and transfer to a blender. Next add the milk and Dijon mustard and blend on high until silky smooth and creamy. If necessary, add some more milk, the texture should be thick but pourable.
Pour into a bowl and add the quinoa and cheese and stir until combined. Keep a big handful of cheese to one side. I have to admit it did not look appetising - more like vomit to be honest - but don't let that put you off!
Transfer to a ceramic baking dish or even mini ramekins, sprinkle the remaining cheese on top and bake in the oven for 25 minutes until bubbling.
Remove from the oven, cool slightly and then enjoy immediately.
I was worried Arabella would turn her nose up at this as there was obviously no pasta but she really enjoyed it, as did I. It surprised us. You can taste the butternut squash quite strongly but it goes brilliantly with the cheese and the quinoa is much lighter than pasta. We will definitely be making this a regular meal, perfect for this time of year and I might even try the quinoa with some other of our favourite pasta dishes…..quinoa carbonara anyone?!