Butternut squash is a wonderfully versatile vegetable, especially tasty if you have vegetarian friends to dinner. Here is a simple and economical supper for family or friends to enjoy.
Dawn: Mmm! Butternut squash! Last seen here being roasted at Christmas.
Andrew: Here it is steamed to soften it up, then sautéed with the other vegetables.
Dawn: Steaming is a way of preserving all the vitamins in vegetables, which are so often just boiled away.
1 butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-1.5cm cubes
1 red onion, finely chopped
1 chilli (optional) deseeded and finely chopped
1 tsp of basil, oregano or herbes de Provence
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 red pepper, deseeded and finely sliced
100g mushrooms of your choice, sliced
200g frozen broad beans, defrosted
75 g spaghetti per person
1 tbsp ricotta, cream cheese or creme-fraiche
Olive oil for cooking
Salt and pepper to season
Andrew: It is possible to buy the butternut squash already prepared.
Dawn: However, it is more economical to do it yourself. Hard work if you don’t have a good peeler, but well worth it for the texture and taste.
- Steam the squash for 5 minutes. If you don’t have a fan steamer, a colander over a pan of simmering water, covered with a lid, will do just as well.
- Allow the squash to cool otherwise it may burn of catch in the pan.
- Put on a pan of water to boil, then add salt , and cook your spaghetti according to instructions while you cook the vegetables.
- In a frying pan, heat a little olive oil on a medium heat, and fry the onion gently until it begins to turn transparent.
- Add the garlic,chilli and herbs and allow the flavour to permeate the pan by moving them around. Don’t let the garlic burn.
- Next the squash can be added keeping it moving so the cubes colour on each side.
- Add the pepper and cook for a further couple of minutes so that it softens.
- Now the broad beans may be added, squeezed out of their outer skins for a more jewel like quality or left for a bit more bite.
- Allow to heat through, then add the mushrooms and cook until they are soft and golden to your taste.
- Drain the cooked spaghetti, then add to the pan with the cooked vegetables and stir well.
- Finally mix in the cheese or creme-fraiche and serve.
Dawn: What was the cost of this per portion?
Andrew: Just over £1.50 each I believe. Of course you can substitute other vegetables too.
Dawn: Economy and seasonality! Two of our buzz words!
Don’t forget we have great recipe ideas on https://forfoodlovers.wordpress.com all the time. You can follow us on Twitter @Love_Food_UK and on our Facebook page too. We are also on Mumsnet Bloggers Network.