Squash and ricotta cannelloni

A delicious combination of slow-cooked butternut squash with a rich cheesy sauce

Serves: 6
Preparation time: 20 minutes
Cooking time: 55 minutes

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Ingredients

18 cannelloni tubes

350g (12oz) jar tomato and basil pasta sauce

For the filling:

2 tbsp olive oil

700g (1½lb) butternut squash, diced

3 garlic cloves, chopped

250g (9oz) pot ricotta cheese

50g (2oz) Parmesan, finely grated

25g (1oz) chopped fresh basil

For the cheese sauce:

40g (1½oz) plain flour

40g (1½oz) butter

600ml (1 pint) milk

4 tbsp double cream

50g (2oz) Gruyère cheese, finely grated

Method

1. Preheat the oven to 190°C/R5. To make the filling, heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan, add the squash and cook over a medium heat for 15-20 minutes until softened. Add the garlic and cook for a further 2-3 minutes. Spoon the ricotta into a bowl, stir in the Parmesan and basil and season well. Carefully fold in the butternut squash, check the seasoning and set to one side.

2. To make the cheese sauce, melt the butter in a saucepan and stir in the flour. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring all the time. Remove from the heat and add half the milk. Whisk until smooth and then add the remaining milk. Bring to the boil and simmer for a few moments until thickened. Stir in the cream and Gruyère. Season to taste.

3. Pour the tomato sauce into the base of a large baking dish. Fill the cannelloni with the ricotta mixture and arrange in the dish. Spoon the cheese sauce over and then finish with the grated Parmesan. Bake for 30-35 minutes until golden and bubbling. Serve with a crisp salad and some warm crusty bread.

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