A scrumptious vegetarian main that, thanks to the squash and tomatoes’ natural sweetness and the irresistible cubes of just-melting Comté, all the family will devour. You can roast the butternut squash, garlic and tomatoes in advance to make this a very quick and effortless dish to put together when you’re ready to eat. If you can, it’s worth using some extra special extra virgin olive oil to finish off this dish as the flavour really stands out.
- 1 x butternut squash (about 1.3 kilos), peeled, seeds discarded and flesh cut into 2cm chunks
- 5 large garlic cloves, unpeeled
- About 40ml light olive oil, for cooking
- 300g cherry tomatoes
- 320g spaghetti (white or wholewheat, whichever you prefer)
- About 25ml good quality extra virgin olive oil, for finishing off the dish
- 100g young Comté (4 to 8-month), cut into 1cm cubes
- 25g flat-leaf parsley, leaves roughly chopped
1Heat the oven to 210℃ (190℃ fan). Toss the chunks of butternut squash in a little of the light olive oil, season with ½ teaspoon salt and pepper, and spread across a large baking tray (or 2, if you need more space) that you’ve lined with non-stick baking paper – you don’t want the butternut squash to be crowded or they will sweat instead of browning. Cook in the centre of the oven for about 40 to 45 minutes until the squash is cooked through and golden brown on the outside – after 20 minutes of cooking, turn over the cubes of squash so they brown evenly and add the garlic cloves to the baking tray. Once cool enough to handle, squeeze the soft garlic flesh out of the skins, discard the skins and any hard bits, then shred the flesh with your fingers and set aside to use later.
2Toss the tomatoes in a little olive oil, season with salt and pepper and put them on a separate, lined baking tray, and roast in the oven for 10 minutes.
3While the tomatoes are roasting, cook the spaghetti in a large pan of boiling, salted water as per the pack instructions, then drain.
4Warm a large serving dish.
5Put the pan over a low heat and add in the drained spaghetti, the butternut squash, the garlic flesh, the tomatoes, the Comté, most of the parsley and a good glug of the good quality olive oil. Season to taste and stir to combine all the elements and break the tomatoes down. Tip the spaghetti into the large, pre-warmed serving dish, sprinkle over the remaining parsley and serve immediately.