Starter - Serves 4 - 6

It shouldn't be too hard to get hold of a mixture of squashes at this time of year. Butternut, gem, onion squash and most pumpkins are perfect for this interesting side dish, even the humble marrow which is rather out of favour. Amaretti biscuits are commonly used with pumpkins and squashes which marry perfectly with the sweetness of the almond flavour and crunchiness of the biscuits. This goes well with meat main courses, or makes a lovely vegetarian starter.

For the filling

1.5kg of mixed squashes, peeled, seeded and cut into large, rough 4cm pieces

Olive oil for roasting

Salt and pepper


For the amaretti crust

30g pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted and crushed

30g amaretti biscuits, crushed

30g fresh white breadcrumbs, lightly browned under the grill

1tbsp chopped parsley

40g butter, melted

Preheat the oven to 230ºC/gas mark 8.

Heat a roasting tray in the oven with a couple of tablespoons of olive oil for 5 minutes. Add the pieces of squash and lightly season with salt and pepper. Cook for 20-30 minutes until nicely coloured and cooked through.

Meanwhile mix the ingredients for the crust.

To serve, put the squash into a serving dish and sprinkle with the amaretti crust.