This recipe is based on one from Ashley Rodriguez and her lovely book Date Night In, which is full of lovely decadent ideas. I have adapted it somewhat for a weekday night to serve squash and beans without using a tin of tomatoes! Full of autumn flavours and if you use the frozen squash, or even one that is in the bottom of your fridge, practically storecupboard friendly. While she goes all out with crispy shallot crumbs, I have included panko here, which is more doable on a weeknight, though the shallot crumbs are delectable. I’ve also tried it with rosemary which I love, so feel free to use either.
I do confess to having frozen squash and frozen diced onions for emergencies in my freezer – yes I am a heathen. But sometimes it may just be the difference in getting something on the table and not 🙂 This serves four very generously indeed!
500g butternut squash (I have used a bag of frozen squash with great success – it’s very handy and cuts out the chopping of a weekday)
1 onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 tins of cannellini beans, drained and rinsed (butter beans work well too if that’s what you have)
150-200mls double cream (decadent I know!)
2 tblsp of fresh sage or rosemary, minced
a grating of nutmeg (if you have it)
50g cheddar, grated(plus optional extra tblsp for topping)
100g panko breadcrumbs, to top
salt and pepper to season
oil for cooking
Start by preheating your oven to 180 and roasting your cubes of squash on a parchment lined tray for 20 minutes – they don’t need to be totally cooked through, but not like bullets. Set aside and leave the oven on if you’ll be popping the casserole in again. Butter a casserole dish – a small lasagne sized one is perfect for this.
Then heat a spoon of oil in a large sauté pan and gently fry the onion until softened. Then add in the garlic and stir for a minute or two. Now add the beans and the herb of choice, followed by the squash and stir gently to combine. Stir in the cream (you want it to be quite creamy so it doesn’t dry out while baking) and bring to a gentle simmer for a few minutes.
Add the cheddar, season well and turn off the heat. Stir gently, before decanting into the prepared casserole dish. Top with the panko and some cheddar if you like and bake for 15-20 minutes in the oven until golden and bubbling.