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Butternut Squash baked with Tomatoes & Cheese

*Butternut Squash Baked with Tomatoes & Cheese*
Serves 6

One of my favourite autumn bakes.  We love butternut squash.  It may sound an unusual combination, but trust me when I say it works.

2 pounds of butternut squash
2 TBS butter
2 TBS oil
fine sea salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
a package of spring onions, sliced, including both the white and light green portions (8 to 10)
1 400g tin of chopped plum tomatoes, drained and rinsed (1 14-oz tin)
1/2 tsp dried thyme
4 ounces of strong cheddar cheese, grated ( 1 cup)

Preheat the oven to 160*C/325*F/ gas mark 3.  Butter a shallow 8 by 10 inch gratin dish.  Set aside.

Peel the squash and discard the skin and seeds.  Cut the flesh into bite sized pieces.  Heat the oil and butter in a large skillet until the butter begins to foam.  Add the squash.  Cook, stirring occasionally until golden brown in places.  Season with some salt and black pepper and then transfer this to the prepared gratin dish.

Add the onions to the same skillet and gently cook until softened.  Season as required and spoon these over top of the squash.

Dump your drained and rinsed tomatoes into the same skillet.  Add the thyme and season to taste.  Cook and stir until they are quite dry with no excess liquid.  Scatter these over top of the onions and squash.  Top all with the cheese.

Bake for 30 minutes, uncovered.  Turn the temperature up to 200*C/40)*F/ gas mark 6, and bake for a further 10 minutes, just until the cheese begins to brown.  Serve immediately.

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