Pumpkin Pangrattato with Merguez Sausage & Black Olives

Adapted from a recipe by Nigel Slater

from Tender, Vol. 1

Makes 3 substantial servings, or 4 smaller servings

olive oil

4x merguez sausages

1x whole butternut squash, peeled, de-seeded, & cut into large bite-sized chunks

generous handful black olives (I used kalamata)

3x cloves garlic, finely chopped

1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped

grated zest of half an orange

4 generous handfuls fresh white breadcrumbs

(for great texture & crunch, keep breadcrumbs quite coarse)

1 generous handful flat leaf parsley, roughly chopped

50g (1-3/4 oz) taleggio cheese

flaky sea salt & freshly ground black pepper


Preheat oven to 180 degrees C (350 degrees F).

Put pieces of butternut into a steamer set over boiling water, and steam until just tender to the point of a knife.  This may take up to 20 minutes, but start testing after 10 minutes, as you really don't want to overcook it at this stage.  Remove steamer from heat and set aside.

Meanwhile, remove casing from sausages, and break into bite-sized pieces.  Heat a small amount of olive oil in a large, ovenproof frying pan (cast iron is ideal) over medium-high heat (see note below).  Add the chunks of sausage to the pan, and cook until golden brown all over.  Remove the sausage from the pan, and set aside.  Don't discard the fat which has been released from the sausages.   (Note:  if you don't have an ovenproof pan, don't worry, you can use a baking dish later on.)

Return the pan to heat, and reduce the heat to medium.  Depending on how much fat has come out of the sausages, you may need to add a little extra olive oil to the pan - you want about 4-5 tablespoons altogether.  Add the garlic, rosemary and orange zest to the pan.  As soon as the garlic becomes fragrant, add the breadcrumbs and parsley to the pan, and stir until the breadcrumbs are a pale golden colour.  Remove breadcrumbs to a medium sized bowl, but don't clean the pan.  Break cheese into small pieces, add to the breadcrumbs, and toss gently to distribute evenly amongst the crumbs.

Return sausages, butternut chunks and black olives to the pan (or use a shallow baking dish), distributing them evenly.  Season generously with salt and pepper, and dot little knobs of butter over the top.

Tip the breadcrumbs over the top of the pumpkin and sausage in an even layer, and drizzle with a little extra olive oil.

Bake in the preheated oven for 35-40 minutes, until the crumbs are golden and crunchy and the pumpkin is thoroughly tender.