Pumpkin Pisto

A Spanish style ratatouille, pisto always makes for a colourful side dish. This autumnal inspired recipe embraces pumpkin or squash with herbs and pine nuts.

Introduction

Pisto is Spanish ratatouille, of which there are many versions, this one with pumpkin or squash. We make it with a mixture of butternut (a good all-rounder), ironbark and starchy kabocha squash for different flavours and textures. Since we grow a lot of pumpkins of varying varieties on the allotment, we are always looking for new recipes. This one is great with pork, chicken or lamb.

Serves 4
Easy

Ingredients

800g peeled and seeded pumpkin or squash (roughly 1.2kg weight before preparation), cut into 2cm chunks
½ tsp fine sea salt
6 tbsp olive oil
large or 3 medium onions, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1cm chunks
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
1½ tsp finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tbsp chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
a few grates of nutmeg
½ tsp ground cumin
12 tbsp (180ml) passata or fritada (Spanish tomato sauce)
2 tbsp sweet red wine vinegar, such as Cabernet Sauvignon (or use any good-quality red wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar), mixed with 4 tablespoons water
2 tbsp pine nuts, lightly toasted

Instructions

Toss the pumpkin with the salt and set aside. In a wide saucepan (about 30cm), heat the olive oil over a medium heat, then add the onions with a pinch of salt. Stir well and cook, stirring often, for 15-20 minutes until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelise. Now add the chopped red pepper, fry for a further 10 minutes, then follow with the garlic, bay leaves and rosemary. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes, before adding the pumpkin (blotted dry if wet). Reduce the heat and fry for 20 minutes, until the pumpkin is barely tender, turning it every now and then. Add the oregano or marjoram, nutmeg and cumin, followed by the passata. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the pumpkin is completely tender, then sprinkle with the vinegar-water, taste and season with salt and pepper if necessary. Serve warm, with the toasted pine nuts on top.

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