Butternut squash pisto

Sam Clarke does an adaption of a classic Spanish recipe using plenty of tomatoes and spices, to be served with meaty lamb chops
Butternut squash pisto
  • Rating:
  • Serves: 4
  • Cook Time:
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Effort: easy


  • 1.2 kg butternut squash, peeled and seeded, chopped into 2cm chunks (will yield approximately 800g of squash)
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt, plus extra for sprinkling
  • 6 tbsp olive oil, plus extra for the lamb
  • 3 onions, peeled and roughly chopped
  • 1 red pepper, de-seeded and cut into 1cm chunks
  • 2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced
  • 4 bay leaves
  • 1' tsp fresh rosemary, finely chopped
  • 1 tbsp fresh oregano, or marjoram
  • A few grates of nutmeg
  • 1/2 tsp ground cumin
  • 180 ml passata, or fritada (Spanish tomato sauce)
  • 2 tbsp sweet red wine vinegar, such as Cabernet Sauvignon (or use any good quality red wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar), mixed with 4 tablespoons water
  • 4 lamb chops
  • 2 tbsp pine kernels, lightly toasted


1. Toss the squash with the salt in a large bowl and set aside.

2. In a wide saucepan (about 30cm), heat the olive oil over a medium heat, then add the onions with a pinch of sea salt. Stir well and cook, stirring often, for about 15-20 minutes, or until the onions are soft and beginning to caramelise.

3. Add the chopped red pepper and fry for a further 9-10 minutes, then stir in the garlic, bay leaves and chopped rosemary. Continue to cook for a couple of minutes, then add the squash. Reduce the heat and fry for 20 minutes, or until the squash is just tender, stirring through occasionally.

4. Add the oregano or marjoram, nutmeg and cumin, followed by the passata. Cook for 5-10 minutes, or until the pumpkin is completely tender, then sprinkle with the vinegar-water mixture. Season, to taste, with salt and freshly ground black pepper.

5. Season the lamb chops with salt and freshly ground black pepper and lightly brush with olive oil. Heat a griddle pan until smoking, then cook the lamb on both sides for 8-10 minutes, or until cooked to your liking. Allow to rest for five minutes before serving.

6. To serve, place the lamb chop on a plate, and spoon the butternut squash pisto alongside. Sprinkle over the toasted pine nuts and serve.

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