This is a nice, easy, comforting dish. One of those things which takes almost no effort to make apart from shoving things in the oven and a bit of frying. It can be made a couple of days ahead and kept in the fridge until needed.
I *may* have mentioned my slattern ways and inherent laziness a couple of times so I feel comfortable sharing my way of making butternut squash mash without worrying that you might judge me. Clearly if you dislike BNS you can substitute whichever vegetable mash you prefer. Actually, I’ve just realised Champ would be brilliant on the top of this [thousand yard stare] I must try that next time.
5-a-day Sausage Tray
8 good quality sausages
1 large butternut squash
1 small onion or two shallots, sliced
2 sticks of celery, strings removed, diced
1 medium courgette, diced
I bag of baby spinach
1tbs grainy mustard or creamed horseradish
Squeeze of lemon juice
Freshly grated nutmeg
Oil for frying
Preheated oven 180c
Start by splitting the butternut squash in half and put both halves in a baking dish – skin, seeds and all. Add a couple of tablespoons of water to the tray, cover with foil or a lid and put in the bottom of the oven.
Next put the sausages on a baking tray, roll in a little bit of oil to prevent them sticking, and bake until a deep golden brown.
While the sausages are baking start the onion frying gently in a little oil. Once it has softened add the celery and courgette, turn the heat up a bit and continue frying until everything is soft and golden. Tip in the spinach and let it wilt into the pan, stirring occasionally.
Now add enough mascarpone to make the mixture nice and creamy. You may not need the whole tub – I used about 3/4 in the picture above. Add the mustard or horseradish and lemon juice, season with salt and pepper and taste. If the sauce is a bit thick stir in a tbs of water to slacken. Remove from the heat and set aside.
Once the sausages are cooked remove from the oven, cut into chunky pieces and stir into the vegetables. Then spoon this mix into a shallow casserole dish and level the top.
The butternut squash is cooked when you can easily insert a knife into the flesh. Remove from the oven, take off the foil and allow to cool for 10 minutes or so.
Holding half of the squash in a teatowel, scoop out the seeds and fibres with a dessert spoon and discard. It will all come out really easily. Then scrape the soft flesh into a roomy bowl. Repeat with the other half.
Mash thoroughly with a little butter, grated nutmeg and some seasoning to taste then spoon evenly over the sausage mixture. Brush the top with a little oil or melted butter.
Bake for approximately 30 minutes until the top is golden brown.
Nice with some tenderstem broccoli. Oh give over, there’s no such thing as too many vegetables.