1.25kg squash, such as crown prince
4 tbsp olive oil
1 small onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
120ml dry white wine
1/2 tsp caster sugar
2-3 fresh thyme sprigs, leaves picked, plus extra to garnish (optional)
1 bay leaf
Good pinch dried chilli flakes
450g vine-ripened tomatoes, peeled, deseeded and chopped
142ml carton double cream
100g Gruyère cheese, finely grated
1. Cut the squash into quarters and remove the peel, seeds and fibres. Cut into small, chunky pieces. You should have 750g.
2. Heat 2 tablespoons of the olive oil in a medium-sized pan, then add the onion and garlic and cook gently until the onion is soft but not browned. Add the wine and sugar and simmer until reduced by half. Add the thyme, bay leaf, chilli flakes and tomatoes and leave to simmer gently for 15 minutes until reduced and thickened. Discard the bay leaf and spoon the sauce onto the base of a shallow ovenproof dish.
3. Preheat the oven to 200°C/fan180°C/gas 6. Heat the rest of the oil in a large pan, then add the squash and sauté gently for 3-4 minutes, until lightly golden on both sides. Scatter the squash over the tomato sauce.
4. In a small pan, bring the cream, some seasoning and a little grated nutmeg to the boil, then remove from the heat.
5. Sprinkle the cheese over the top of the squash, pour over the cream and bake for 30 minutes, until the squash is tender and the cheese is golden and bubbling. Sprinkle with thyme leaves to garnish, if you like.
- Try a ripe, buttery white, such as a rich Chardonnay.