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snacks and sides | serves 12
This is the easiest method for cooking squash. All the flavour is added at the last minute when you smash it in. Don’t panic if you’re tight for hob or oven space and the squash isn’t piping hot by the time you serve – it’s just as good warm.
1. Preheat the oven to 180C/gas 4. Wash the skins of the squash and dry them off. Pop them on a baking tray, pierce once or twice with the tip of a sharp knife, then bake in the oven for 90 minutes, or until golden and very soft. Set aside until Christmas Day.
2. Pop the squash back in the oven
for 15–20 minutes to heat through. Scatter the pine nuts on a baking tray and toast them in the oven at the same time. They will only need a couple of minutes to turn golden – make sure you keep an eye on them to prevent them burning.
3. Meanwhile, add a glug of oil to a frying pan and fry the sage leaves until crisp. Place the leaves on a piece of kitchen towel and reserve the olive oil you fried them in.
4. Once the squash are hot through, lay them on a board, remove the stalks and, using a knife and tongs, carefully slice the squash lengthways, down the middle. Scoop out and discard the seeds. Sprinkle the cinnamon, chilli, and chestnuts over the squash halves, and season with black pepper. Really mash and chop all the lovely toppings into squash with your knife, so all the flavours go right through. Serve the squash halves topped with the crisp sage, the toasted pine nuts, a drizzle of the reserved sage oil and a little balsamic vinegar, if you like.
Recipe Jamie Oliver
Photo David Loftus
from Issue 33
ingredients• 2 butternut squash
• 50g pine nuts
• Extra-virgin olive oil
• ½ small bunch of sage
• ½ tsp ground cinnamon
• ½ red chilli
• 200g vacuum-packed