Pumpkin, Bacon & Tomato Bake

Pumpkin Bake 006aHere in New Zealand some sort of pumpkin is almost always
available, however it is at this time of year (autumn) and right the way through winter when they are in season and at their best.

Now is also the time that many different varieties are starting to
become available, from small ones which can be served as an
individual serve through to those that weigh several kilos.

In this recipe pumpkin is baked in a bacon, leek and tomato sauce with just a hint of chipotle flake to give the dish a hit of heat and
interest. It is delicious served alongside grilled or roasted meat or as a vegetable main dish over rice.

I have used homemade passata (see this previous post for how to make). I usually make passata at this time of year and freeze to have on hand when needed – when emptying the freezer recently for our move I found a container there from last year’s tomato harvest so have used that here. If you do not have passata canned diced
tomatoes would also work well.

Pumpkin, Bacon & Tomato Bake

Serves 6 as side dish or 4 as main meal

2 tbsp olive oil
3 slender leeks, thinly sliced
100g bacon, rind removed, chopped
3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
1 tsp Orcona Chipotle Flake
500-600g peeled, seeded and cubed pumpkin
2 cups homemade passata
chopped coriander or parsley, to garnish (optional)

1              Preheat oven to 180°C.
2              Place oil and leeks in a frying pan over a medium heat, cover and cook, stirring occasionally, for 5 minutes or until leeks start to soften. Add bacon, garlic and chipotle flake and cook, stirring
frequently, for 5 minutes longer.
3              Add pumpkin and mix to combine. Pour in passata and bring to simmering. Spoon mixture into a baking dish, cover with
aluminium foil and bake for 45-60 minutes or until pumpkin is
tender – cooking time will depend on variety of pumpkin used.
4              Remove foil from dish, increase oven temperature to 200°C and bake for 15-20 minutes longer or until sauce reduces a little. Serve scattered with coriander or parsley if desired.

Happy cooking and eating.

Recipe by Rachel Blackmore

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