Squash parcels with spiced tomato sauce

We tried this Nigel Slater recipe from the Observer and would definitely do it again. It is not too taxing to make for a weeknight supper, yet opening the parchment packages makes it feel special. Good bolstering food for this wet, wintry weather.

I also tried the orange and poppy seed cakes in the same article – though without the poppy seeds as I had run out. Lining muffin tins is fiddly, and the cakes themselves were little different from my regular lemon drizzle cake. However, they looked cute and the addition of crystallised orange peel as a topping was definitely a good idea. We wondered whether drizzle cake would be even nicer with chopped orange or lemon peel in the cake itself. I may experiment…

Back to the squash – these quantities are for two. Forgot to take any photos – will have to add them next time we make it!

  • 250g butternut squash (or pumpkin)
  • 200g tomatoes
  • 3 tbsp olive oil
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 200g cherry tomatoes
  • 1 fat clove of garlic
  • 1 tsp red chilli paste
  • 1 tbsp white wine vinegar

Heat the oven to 200 C/Gas mark 6. Cut two pieces of baking parchment (or foil) about 30cm square.

Peel the squash or pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes and put into a bowl. Roughly chop the tomatoes and mix them with pumpkin, 2 tbsps of olive oil, bay leaves and season generously with salt and black pepper. Divide the mixture between the two sheets of parchment and fold into a parcel, securing with a paperclip. Place on a baking sheet and bake for around 45 minutes.

Meanwhile, make the tomato sauce. Roughly chop the cherry tomatoes. Heat the remaining 1 tbsp of oil on a high heat in a wide, shallow pan. Add the tomatoes and some salt and pepper and cook them until they are soft and juicy. Peel and thinly slice the garlic and add to the tomatoes with some seasoning. Cook until the sauce thickens, stirring from time to time, before adding the chilli paste and cooking or a further 5 minutes. Finally, add the vinegar and check whether in needs any more seasoning.

Let people open their own parcel of squash at the table, and spoon over the spicy tomato sauce. If you wanted to add more heft, you could serve with some brown rice.

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