|delicata squash stuffed with tomato and mince sauce|
I did what I always do when I can't think of anything to do; I use one of my recipes for slow-roasted tomato sauce and use it as a stuffing. Frankly, nothing could be simpler . . . or more delicious.
Skill level: Easy
2 delicata squash
2 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, very finely chopped
1 garlic clove, very finely chopped
150g minced beef
slow-roasted tomato sauce
150ml water or stock
fresh basil, to serve
salt and freshly ground black pepper
grated cheese (I used Lancashire Bomb - a full flavoured, creamy cheese)
- Cut the squash in half in lengthwise through the stem end. Scoop out the seeds and discard. (Although if you have enough seeds, you may want to keep them to roast with spiced salt for a tasty snack!)
- Scoop out some of the flesh, leaving the squash shell that is still rigid (which should have a thickness of about 5 millimetres). Roughly chop the squash flesh and set aside.
- Heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan. Gently fry the onion for 10 minutes until beginning to soften.
- Add the chopped squash and cook for a further for a further 5 minutes.
- Add the garlic and continue frying for 2 minutes.
- In a separate frying pan, heat the rest of the olive oil. Add the minced beef and fry until evenly coloured, stirring occasionally. (This should take about 4 to 5 minutes.)
- While the onions are cooking, heat 1 tablespoon of oil in a frying pan and fry the mince until lightly browned all over.
- Add the slow-roasted tomato sauce, browned mince and water or stock to the onion-squash mixture. Bring to the boil and then simmer for 35 to 45 minutes. If the mixture is very liquid, then reduce for about the last 5 to 10 minutes.
- Preheat the oven to 200C / Gas Mark 6.
- If your squash are particularly rounded, then cut a thin slice from the bottom of each squash half so they will sit flat.
- Place the squash halves, cut side up, on a baking sheet. Roast the squash until it is beginning to soften but not collapse - about -tender but not soft, about 10 minutes.
- Fill the squash cavities with the mince-tomato filling. Sprinkle with grated cheese. Bake until the filling is heated through and the cheese is bubbling and beginning to brown - about 15 to 20 minutes.
- Sprinkle with a little fresh basil before serving.