I discovered Jamie Oliver’s spicy squash recipe in his first book, The Naked Chef, back in 1999. Along with Lord Krishna’s Cuisine (see last week’s recipe), it’s one of my more battered (geddit?!) cookery books. I have Jamie to thank for getting my then 8-year-old son interested in cooking some 20 years ago! This recipe is unashamedly stolen from Jamie Oliver. I’ve often made his spicy squash risotto recipe, but never thought of serving spaghetti with squash until today. I really was not at all sure that this would work, but IMHO it is absolutely delicious!
When I make risotto with squash, there is always a great deal of cheese, butter and mascarpone involved, but for this I went totally dairy free.
Ingredients for 4 people:
1 medium butternut squash
seeds from the squash
2 tsp coriander seed
1 tsp fennel seed
2 tsp oregano
1 tsp salt
1 tsp black peppercorns
small red chili, chopped very finely
2 garlic cloves
2 tbsp olive oil
400 gm spaghetti (That’s for hungry people. 300 is enough if you’re not that hungry, or you’re serving something else as well).
What to do, roughly speaking.
Pre-heat oven to 200ºC/400ºF/Gas mark 6
Cut the squash in half lengthways
Scoop the seeds out of the centre of the squash, discard any stringy flesh that is sticking to them.
Cut each half of the squash into 4, again, lengthways. Now you have 8 strips of squash.
Using a pestle and mortar, smash up the coriander, fennel, salt, black peppercorns, oregano, garlic and chili.
Tip this mix into a roasting tray, add 2 tbsp olive oil and mix it around.
Place the squash slices in the roasting tray and smear the oil/herb/spice mix over both sides.
Tip the seeds into a pile on one side of the tray.
Place the squash and seeds in the oven for 30 minutes, turn off the heat and leave for another 10 minutes while you cook the spaghetti in plenty of boiling water.
Drain the spaghetti and put it on your plates
Chop the squash slices into pieces about 2 cm thick.
Spoon the squash slices over the spaghetti and then sprinkle the seeds over the top of that.