Stuffed Butternut Squash

This is a fusion recipe from a rather bland “just stuff it with ricotta” recipe I saw, David Scott’s “The Peniless Vegetarian”, and my own mutations on those themes.

I can’t give you exact quantities, just make a little more than you will make the hollowed mound (grin), and the rest will make an excellent pasta sauce.


For an average sized butternut squash, you will need:
1 onion (I prefer red)
3 cloves of garlic
1 capsicum pepper (I prefer green, my ex- preferred red)
Some red lentils
Optional green or brown lentils for texture and flavour. I used some puy
The lentil quantity is hard to estimate, but I ratio 4 red to 1 optional.
Roughly one handful of chopped mushrooms – i.e. when chopped, it is one handful
1 tin tinned tomatoes
Some tomato puree
A generous amout of garam masala – garam masala is what brings out the flavout in lentils
Some paprike
Optional chilli – if using chilli, I recommend fresh of course.
Optional Balsamic vinegar
Optional Marmite

Preperation of the Squash
1. Cut the butternut squash in half, length ways. This is very hard, you will need a good large knife, and may require you jumping up and down into the air. This is the second most hard of the procedure.

2. For each half, scoop out the seeds, and pare back the bowl till it is no longer overly fibrous. Discard this, or find a use for the seeds.

3. For each half, scoop a channel of the softer flesh up from the baisin up near the top. This has to be done by feel, is hard and thankless work. Also experimentation required. Reserve this flesh.

Preperation of the Filling

This is just basically a nice lentil sauce that can be used with pasta, rice, toast etc.

Important: this is not a stir fry, but a largish, heavy bottom pan is recommended.

1. Finely peel then chop the onions and the garlic. Chop the chillis if used (I am a chilli gal). Please observe Chilli Protocol[0]

2. Wash and chop the pepper and mushrooms. Not finely diced, but not crudite-sized slices. Remember that peppers shrivel down a little, mushrooms a lot.

3. Start frying the onions for a while in some oil (I prefer olive, but others are acceptible), until they just about to go translucent. Then add the garlic and optional chillis until the garlic is just cooking nicely.

4. Add the spices, turn over until all the containts of the pan are covered, and cook for another 30 seconds or so. Then add the tinned tomato, and then add half a can of cold water water which rinsed the tin out with. Stir this around, and make sure it is now at just at a simmer or pre-simmer.

5. Add the lentils. You want 0.5-1 cm of water above the lentils when you have added and stirred. Let these cook and expand for about 5 mins, stirring all the while, all the lentils will stick to the bottom.

6. Add the pepper, mushroom, reserved squash flesh, and optional dash of balsamic vinegar, and half a tea spoon of marmite. Cook and stir until the pepper goes soft. This is the hard part. Add boiling water if really too thick, or some tomato puree if too thin. There is no hard science to this, you want at the end of 10 minutes or so something resembling the thickness in texture of a stiff bolognaise sauce.

1. Have a baking tray. Whether you prefer to grease, line with foil, or line with baking parchment is up to you. I prefer baking parchment.

2. Stuff those two halves of butternut squash with that sauce you made. It should make a mound of about 1cm about the level. If you feel extravagent, and are not vegan, sprinkle a little grated cheese on top.

3. Place in a pre-heated oven of 200oC. Cooking time should be about 20 mins, but larger ones take longer. The “acid test” is to briefly take them out, and prod the lower side with a fork. It should go through the skin with little resistance.

When ready, serve. It’s really a dish in itself, but some people might like a bit of salad, or maybe a light green risotto.


[0] Chilli Protocol: Declare to all present that chillies are being chopped. After chopping chillies, immediately wash hands thoroughly. Do not touch in the area of eyes or genitals until hands are washed. Declare to all present the chilli protocol is finished.

2 thoughts on “Stuffed Butternut Squash

  1. Tip (from my mother). To cut or skin a squash is indeed hard work – and I regularly dice it small to make spicy soups for the cold/dark season. But if you put it in the oven it softens up. The bottom of the oven while you’re cooking something else above it works for me. Give it 20-30 to make it much easier to cut but without actually cooking it.

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