Butternut Squash Ragu

This is a fantastic meal for cold winter days like today. This ragu is filling enough to eat by itself, although you can serve it with some bread if you like. The smoked bacon adds an incredible depth of favour and you don’t need much of it so this ragu is brilliantly cheap! I love how healthy this meal is because it’s a big portion, but I can’t help eating it all at once!

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Ingredients

  • Extra Virgin Olive Oil
  • 3 cloves of Garlic, roughly chopped
  • 1 Red Chilli, roughly chopped
  • 3 rashers of Smoked Bacon, finely sliced
  • 3 sprigs of Rosemary
  • 1 Red Onion, cut into quarters
  • 2 teaspoons of Paprika
  • 1/4 Butternut Squash, cut into chunks
  • Tinned Plum Tomatoes
  • 2 tablespoons of Barbecue Sauce
  • Tin of Mixed Beans (in water)
  • 2 handfuls of Spinach
  • Cheddar Cheese, grated

Method

  1. Preheat the oven to 200°C. Put some olive oil into a cold oven-proof frying pan. Add the garlic and chilli and slowly bring it up to a medium heat. Let it take its time to properly infuse the oil with the flavours, but be careful, because garlic burns very easily.
  2. After a couple of minutes, add the bacon to the pan and fry for a couple of minutes. Add the butternut squash, paprika and season with salt and pepper. Fry for 3 minutes.
  3. Throw in the rosemary sprigs and transfer the pan to the oven to roast for 20-30 minutes. Allow the bacon to go gnarly. Shuffle it around halfway through to stop it sticking if you need to.
  4. Add the tomatoes, beans, barbecue sauce and a splash of water. Stick it back in the oven to bubble away for about 45 minutes. 5 minutes before the end, stir through the spinach and sprinkle the cheddar on top. Serve when the cheese is oozing!
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