Maincourse Serves 4

These work well as a starter or main course. Squash works as well as pumpkin in this and most other dishes.

For the sauce

2 shallots, peeled and roughly chopped

1 stick of lemon grass, trimmed and roughly chopped

A small piece of root ginger or galangal, scraped and roughly chopped

1 small red chilli, seeded and roughly chopped

3 cloves of garlic, peeled and crushed

1/2tsp ground cumin

1tbsp sesame oil

1litre vegetable stock (a cube will do)

1tsp cornflour

100g cream of coconut block (cut into pieces) or a can

To serve

1kg yellow-fleshed pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into rough 2-3cm chunks

1tbsp sesame oil

A good pinch of chilli powder

A good pinch of ground cumin

4 spring onions, trimmed and cut into 4 on the angle

1 small red chilli, seeded and shredded

60g bean shoots

A few sprigs of coriander, roughly chopped and some extra sprigs for garnish

200g thick Chinese egg noodles, fresh or dried

To make the sauce, gently cook the shallots, lemon grass, ginger, chilli, garlic and cumin in the sesame oil for a few minutes until soft. Add the vegetable stock, season with a little salt and pepper and simmer for 20 minutes.

Dilute the cornflour with a little water, stir into the sauce and simmer for another 5 minutes. After that, stir in the cream of coconut and simmer for a further 5 minutes. Blend in a liquidiser until smooth and return to a clean saucepan.

Meanwhile preheat oven to 200ºC/gas mark 6. Heat the sesame oil in a roasting tray. Add the pumpkin or squash, season with salt and pepper and roast for 20 minutes until lightly golden, turning occasionally. Add the chilli powder and cumin, and roast for another 10 minutes.

Cook the noodles in boiling salted water for 2-3 minutes if fresh, or as per cooking instructions if dried, then drain in a colander. Reheat the sauce and add the spring onions, chilli and beanshoots. Simmer for 30 seconds and mix with the noodles. Spoon the noodles and sauce into a deep Chinese-style bowl or similar and scatter the pumpkin on top with a few sprigs of coriander.