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Categories: Vegetables, Vegetarian

Butternut squash with sweet spices

Butternut squash with sweet spices
Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times

On Rosh Hashana, the time-honored greeting, "Have a happy and sweet new year," is also the message of the menu. In selecting dishes, people are guided not by a prescribed practice but by a popular concept: Eat sweet foods and ... Read more

Active work time: 10 minutes | Total preparation time: 50 minutes | Serves 4 to 6
Note: If you want a sweeter stew, stir in more sugar to taste or add 1/3 cup raisins and simmer the stew for 5 more minutes to soften them. You can also use sweet dumpling, kabocha or Mexican calabaza squash. With acorn or banana squash, which are less sweet, you may want to add a little more sugar. This can be prepared two or three days ahead; it reheats well.
  • 2 pounds butternut or other hard-shelled squash
  • 1/2 pound tomatoes, peeled, (about 2), or 1 (14-ounce) can tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons oil
  • 1 large onion, chopped
  • 2 large cloves garlic, chopped (optional)
  • 2/3 cup water
  • Salt
  • 1/4 to 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cinnamon, or more to taste
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground ginger, or more to taste
  • 1 tablespoon sugar, or more to taste
  • Dash freshly grated nutmeg or ground cloves (optional)

Step 1Peel or cut off the squash skin, remove the seeds and strings, and cut the meat in 1-inch pieces. If using fresh tomatoes, halve and seed them, reserving the juice. Drain canned tomatoes, reserving the juice. Chop the tomatoes.

Step 2Heat the oil in a large, deep, heavy saucepan or stew pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until golden, 7 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the squash, water, salt to taste, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cinnamon, ginger and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat, occasionally stirring gently, until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.

Step 3If the sauce is too sweet, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved tomato juice. Taste and add nutmeg and more salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger or sugar if you like. If the sauce is too thin, uncover and cook over medium heat until it thickens, 2 or 3 minutes. Serve hot.

Each of 6 servings:
128 calories; 514 mg sodium; 0 cholesterol; 5 grams fat; 0 saturated fat; 22 grams carbohydrates; 2 grams protein; 1.14 grams fiber.
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