Crespelle with butternut squash

Serves 4

A crespelle is basically an Italian version of a French crêpe – but the word sounds a whole lot sexier, doesn't it?

1 medium-sized butternut squash weighing about 800g
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
2 small cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed
A few sprigs of thyme
A couple of good knobs of butter
4 medium pancakes

For the sauce

500ml milk
50g butter
50g flour
1 small bay leaf
200ml double cream
100g grated mature cheddar
1 large egg yolk

Pre heat the oven to 200C/gas mark 6.

Cut the butternut squash in half and scoop out the seeds. Make some incisions in the squash with a knife and spread the garlic and butter over each half, then season and scatter the thyme over.

Wrap in foil, place on a tray and bake for about 45 minutes until soft.

Leave to cool a little then scoop out the flesh, mash it in a bowl and re-season to taste.

Meanwhile, put the milk in a saucepan, season and bring to the boil. Melt the butter in a thick-bottomed saucepan then stir in the flour on a low heat for 30 seconds. Gradually whisk in the milk to avoid lumps forming, add the bay leaf, re-season and simmer very gently for about 15 minutes.

Add the double cream and continue simmering for about 5 minutes; the sauce should be quite thick by now, if not, continue simmering gently until it's a thick coating consistency. Remove the bay leaf, stir in three-quarters of the cheddar and the egg yolk.

Lay the 4 pancakes on a flat surface, divide the squash between them and roll up into cylinders. Place them in individual dishes or 1 large ovenproof dish. Spoon over the sauce and scatter the rest of the cheese over it, then bake for about 15 minutes or until nicely browned.

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