James St Cookery School: Spicy pumpkin with roasted pumpkin seeds, Butternut squash, kale and orzo soup

Spicy pumpkin with roasted pumpkin seeds
Niall McKenna

THIS week's recipes will add that extra bit of much needed warmth to your menu as the temperature plummets this weekend after a rather enjoyably mild month.

Both these dishes can be served as lunch or a starter; they're hearty enough for a main vegetarian meal or the spicy pumpkin could work as a side dish too. They are easy to make, easy to keep and are effective ways to use ingredients you may have in the fridge from that pre-half term and Halloween shopping spree when you had great plans to cook healthily for the whole family and any friends that might call over.

Well, now you can with these two fantastic dishes, and I won't tell anyone if you enjoy them with bread, cheese and a glass of wine.


(Serves 4)

1kg of pumpkin, squash or sweet potato

2 rosemary sprigs, picked and chopped

2 tsp ground cumin

olive oil

sea salt

fresh black pepper

50g pumpkin seeds

For the pangrattato:

2 tblsp olive oil

2 shallots, fine dice

35g breadcrumbs

2 sage leaves, fine chop

flat leaf parsley to garnish

sea salt

fresh black pepper

To start, preheat your oven to its highest setting at 240C. Place the olive oil, cumin, rosemary in a bowl and mix; add in the vegetable of your choice and coat in the mixture evenly. Season with salt and pepper and place in a baking tray and cook for up to 35 minutes when the vegetables should be soft when skewered. Once cooked remove from the oven and cover in tinfoil. Reduce oven temperature to 180C.

On a dry baking tray place your pumpkin seeds; drizzle with a splash of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Cook for 15 minutes until toasted and browned. Turn the oven off.

To make the pangrattato, which gives the vegetables a great crunchy texture, heat a little olive oil in a large frying pan. Add the shallots and cook for five minutes, add the breadcrumbs and sage leaves and cook until all ingredients are covered in oil. Season with salt and pepper and mix with the cooked vegetables and the pumpkin seeds. Scatter the chopped parsley and serve.


2 tbsp olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 garlic clove, finely chopped

25g oregano, picked

1 butternut squash, peeled and finely diced

400g kale

1 vegetable stock

100g orzo pasta

Salt and freshly ground black pepper

½ lemon juiced

Prepare all vegetables by peeling and finely dicing. Place the oil in large saucepan with finely chopped onion and garlic and gently fry for 8/10 minutes until soft but not brown. Add in the butternut squash and cook for 10 minutes, occasionally stirring.

Add in the oregano and vegetable stock; place lid on pot and simmer for 15 minutes. Add in the pasta, pick the kale off the stems and add and cook for a further 10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper and squeeze a little of the lemon juice to serve.

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