- 1 squash
- Sea salt and freshly ground pepper
- A gloss of olive oil
- 1 bulb of garlic
- 400ml chicken or veg stock
- 70g pancetta
- 12 sage leaves
- 150g polenta
- A good splash of single cream or a generous knob of butter
- A grating of parmesan cheese (optional)
1. Preheat your oven to 200°C/Gas 6. Put a roasting tin in the oven, on the top shelf, to warm up.
2. Carefully halve your squash. Scoop out the seeds and discard (or save them for roasting). Cut your squash into 2-3cm moons. Tumble into a big bowl. Season. Gloss with oil.
3. Cut 1cm off the pointy end of your garlic. Arrange the squash on the warmed roasting tray. Nestle in the garlic. Roast 45 mins, or till the squash is tender and nicely coloured. Check a few times during cooking. Remove the garlic once it’s squeezably tender.
4. Warm your stock in a sauce pan. Let it simmer away.
5. Heat a large frying pan. Once hot, add your pancetta rashers in a single layer. Sizzle till golden and crisp on each side. Remove from the pan. Cook the sage leaves in residual oil till just crisp. Remove. Set aside.
6. Once the squash is done, take half of it and scoop the flesh from the skin. Place in a clean sauce pan. Add the polenta and a splash of your simmering stock. Place over low heat. Whisk till smooth. Add more stock till it’s a nice texture – like a creamy maize porridge. Turn the heat off if it thickens too quickly.
7. Pour the polenta into dishes or onto a platter. Dot the remaining roasted squash moons on top, then the crisp pancetta and sage. Lovely with extra pepper and some grated Parmesan.