ingredients for 3-4 portions (easily doubled)
a little oil
1 onion, chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed (or ~2 inches of puree)
1 red chilli, chopped (or ½-1 teaspoon chilli powder, to taste)
400g tinned tomatoes (or passata)
bouquet garni, or ~½ teaspoon thyme or mixed herbs, plus bay leaf
200ml white wine
200ml vegetable stock
400g tin cannellini beans (or butterbeans), drained
350g butternut squash, chopped (about half a medium-large squash)
salt and pepper, to taste
for the crumble topping:
15g chopped nuts, eg walnuts, hazelnuts, etc
½ tablespoon fresh or ¼ teaspoon dried herbs, eg thyme, rosemary
a little oil and/or low fat cooking spray
- Fry the onions and garlic in a little oil until softened.
- Add the chilli, tomatoes, wine, stock, and herbs.
- Bring to the boil, then reduce the heat and simmer, uncovered, for 15 minutes.
- Add the butternut squash. Bring back to the boil and then again turn down to a simmer for 30-40 minutes, or until the squash is soft enough to eat but not mushy – suggest half the time covered and half uncovered. Add the beans halfway through.
- Meanwhile, make the crumble topping by mixing together the breadcrumbs, chopped nuts, and herbs.
- Transfer the squash mixture to an ovenproof dish. Sprinkle over the breadcrumb mix, and spray with spray oil (alternatively, mix a few teaspoons of oil into the breadcrumbs before spooning over the base).
- Bake at 180C/160C fan (gas 4) for 30 minutes, or until the topping is golden and crispy.
- Don’t buy premade breadcrumbs – they’re nowhere near as good! A slice of bread is about enough for the recipe above, and can be crumbled by hand using the same motion – rubbing fingers and thumbs together – as you’d use to combine butter and flour for a cake. Alternatively, use a blender.
- Freezing: although possible to make up and freeze the whole thing, I’d recommend freezing just the base and making fresh topping when you’re ready to cook; this saves the breadcrumbs going soggy.
- Eat hot or cold.