Monday, 21 January 2013

Pumpkin Pangrattato

Pumpkin was cheap at the market. Turns out that's because it has almost zero flavour at this time of year (midsummer). I have written down the basic recipe, which comes from Nigel's Tender, a book I have struggled to use well since it's aimed at someone growing vegetables in a much more temperate climate. I certainly remember the pumpkins in Cambridge being sweeter than the sad specimen I cooked tonight. Anyway, I include in italics the ingredients to include if you suspect your pumpkin is lacking a certain joie de vivre. And I'm toning down the amount of chilli: we had to have a yoghurt afterwards to cool down!


  • 750g pumpkin or butternut squash
  • 3 cloves of garlic
  • 1/4 tsp dried chilli flakes
  • 1 1/2 tbsp rosemary leaves
  • zest of an orange
  • a handful of parsley leaves
  • four handfuls of breadcrumbs
  • 2 tsp sugar
  • 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/4 tsp nutmeg
  • 40g butter
  • segments of an orange
Peel and deseed the squash, then cut into ~2cm pieces. Steam for 15-20 minutes until just tender. Crush the garlic into a frying pan with some olive oil and fry gently until just beginning to colour. Meanwhile, finely chop the rosemary and parsley leaves, and zest the orange. Add the herbs, chilli and orange zest to the garlic, then tip in the breadcrumbs and mix well; fry for a further 3-4 minutes until fragrant and just beginning to crisp.

Tip the pumpkin into a large roasting tray and taste; if it's lacking in flavour then season with the sugar, cinnamon, salt and nutmeg. Tip over the breadcrumbs and dot with butter. Roast at 180C or on a moderate bbq for 35-40 minutes until the crumbs are deep gold and the pumpkin is tender. If you like, stir through the orange segments before serving.

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