This is a warming, hearty stew full of comfort and flavor, something to cook and eat on a cold, wet day like today. The winter wonderland that we have been enjoying for the past week is gone, only to be replaced by muddy, dirty, soggy weather, the kind of weather that makes me wish nothing more than to move to Australia or at least to not put one toe out of the house.
Well, as moving to Australia is out of the question, I have to be content with staying inside and getting busy in the kitchen where everything is dry and warm and, thank to this squash stew, incredibly well smelling.
The pumpkin season might have had his peak a few months ago, but you can still get the Hokkaidos and the butternuts just about anywhere, so I am taking advantage of it and cooking pumpkin/squash quite regularly, I just love them and anyway, we are not eating them at all in spring or summer so we might just OD on them now.
This stew is just lovely, you start eating and cannot stop filling your plate over and over again until it’s all gone. Might be because of the delightful sweetness of the squash or the sausage’s spiciness or the buttery softness of the beans or probably the combination of all these ingredients together. You just have to give it a try, I cannot imagine anyone not liking it.
You can use a can of cannellini beans for this or the same amount of cooked beans. I normally cook a big pot of beans, use some of them immediately and freeze the rest for purposes like this one.
- 800 g/ 1.7 lbs butternut squash
- 2 medium onions
- 2 garlic cloves
- 1 can cannellini beans, about 200 g/ 7 oz when drained (or the same amount cooked beans)
- 1 can chopped tomatoes (400 g/ 14 oz)
- 200 g/ 7 oz pork sausage
- 1 tablespoon butter
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
- 250 ml/ 1 cup vegetable stock
- 2 tablespoons brown sugar
- 2-3 leaves fresh sage
- 2 bay leaves
- salt and freshly ground black pepper
- small bunch of parsley
- fresh, crusty bread to serve
- Preheat the oven to 180 degrees Celsius/ 360 degrees Fahrenheit.
- Peel the butternut squash and cut it into 2 cm/ 0.7 inch cubes. Chop the onions and the garlic cloves and cut the sausage into smallish pieces. Drain the beans. Chop the sage leaves finely.
- Heat the butter and the olive oil in a large cast iron pan or another ovenproof pan. Cook the chorizo pieces for a couple of minutes, add the onions and the garlic and cook shortly. Add the squash cubes, mix everything well and add the vinegar, chopped tomatoes, beans, vegetable stock, sugar, sage, bay leaves and salt and pepper to taste. Bring to a boil.
- Place the pan in the oven and cook for about 40 minutes until the squash is soft. Adjust the taste with more salt and pepper if necessary.
- Chop the parsley and sprinkle it over the stew. Serve with some chunks of crusty bread.