A bowl that you can eat, bubbling with cheesy pasta goodness, has to be the ultimate in greedy delight.
2 soup bowl-sized edible squashes
Sea salt and black pepper
80g cauliflower, grated or pulsed in a food processor 225ml double cream
150ml Farmhouse ale
1 bouquet garni made up of 6 sage leaves, 2 bay leaves, 4 squished garlic cloves, 4 sprigs of thyme, 2 sprigs of rosemary, tied together
200g macaroni or chifferi rigati
Knob of butter
Splash of basic olive oil
150g good-quality mature Cheddar, grated
175g Gouda or Emmental, finely chopped
40g Stinking Bishop or Taleggio, finely chopped 100g chorizo picante, diced and fried until crispy chilli flakes (optional)
2g Parmesan, grated
1 Preheat the oven to 170°C/fan 150°C/gas 3 and heat a baking tray.
2 Cut the top off the squashes, set the ‘lids’ aside, scoop out the innards, and season with sea salt and pepper. If needed, take a thin slice off the bottom of the squashes to ensure they sit stably.
3 Wrap kitchen foil around the squashes to help prevent splitting. Put the lids back on, place on the baking tray and cook for 30min.
4 Meanwhile, put the cauliflower, cream and ale in a pan with the bouquet garni over a low heat.
5 Put a saucepan of salted water on to boil. Add the pasta. After 5min, take 2tbsp of the starchy water and mix it with the cornflour to make a paste. After 7min, drain the pasta (reserving more of the pasta water), then put back in the pan and mix with the butter and a splash of olive oil to stop it sticking together.
6 Take the bouquet garni out of the cream mixture, add the cornflour and mix in all but a few handfuls of the cheeses with the cream.
7 Using a hand-held blender, blitz the sauce (if it gets too thick, add a little more pasta water).
8 Mix the sauce and pasta and spoon into the squashes, pop the lids back on, turn the oven down to 150°C/fan 130˚C/gas 1 and cook for 20 minutes. Take the lids off, top with the rest of the cheese, chorizo, chilli flakes and Parmesan.
9 remove the foil and turn the oven up to 170°C/ Fan 150°C/gas 3 and bake for 10-15min. Leave to rest for 8-10min before serving.
Beers to cook with...
pumpkin season: saison Dupont, Belgium proper scotch eggs:
Black sheep Bitter, UK
Lamb boulangère: pihtla, Estonia apple crumble beer pie:
Floris apple, Belgium
Beers to pair with...
pumpkin season: two Brothers Domaine Dupage, Us proper scotch eggs: West Berkshire good old Boy, UK
Lamb boulangère: Westmalle tripel, Belgium apple crumble beer pie: hook Norton
Double stout, UK