Pisto is the Spanish version of ratatouille. There are many versions of this dish, and this vegetable stew is sometimes used as a filling for empanadas. I am not usually a fan of ratatouille because I find that most restaurants or people cook the dish to death and the vegetables just end up a slimy mess. But when I found a recipe for pisto using pumpkin and butternut squash, I had to try it.
I used a Delicata pumpkin that I bought at the Orbanics market, and a butternut squash for this recipe. The pumpkin had a yellow flesh, that is not as sweet as the orange fleshed pumpkin we can buy here to use primarily in soup and couscous. I loved this recipe. It is full of flavor and goes well with chicken and lamb. I served it with roasted chicken with sumac, onion and pine nuts. You could also serve it as a main dish with rice.
Recipe from Moro East by Sam and Sam Clark
800g (1-3/4lb) peeled and seeded pumpkin or butternut squash or a combination of both, cut into 2cm (3/4 of an inch) chunks
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
6 tablespoons olive oil
1-1/2 large or 3 medium onions, roughly chopped
1 red pepper, seeded and cut into 1 cm (1/3 of an inch) chunks
2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced
4 bay leaves, preferably fresh
1-1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh rosemary
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano or marjoram
A few grates of nutmeg
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
12 tablespoons (180ml) passata
2 tablespoons red wine vinegar and a pinch of sugar, mixed with 4 tablespoons water
2 tablespoons pine nuts, lightly toasted
Sprinkle the pumpkin with the salt and set aside. In a large, deep frying pan (about 30cm or 11 inches in diameter), heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onions with a pinch of salt and stir until the onions are soft and light brown.
Add the red pepper and saute for an additional 10 minutes. Add the garlic, bay leaves and rosemary, and continue to cook for a couple of minutes. Add the pumpkin and reduce the heat; saute for about 20 minutes or until the pumpkin is barely soft. Add the oregano or marjoram, nutmeg, cumin and the passata. Cook for 5-10 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender. Add the vinegar-water, and salt and pepper to taste. Serve warm, with the toasted pine nuts.