Spanish-Inspired Ragout with Butternut Squash, Chorizo, and Chickpeas

By • September 30, 2016 2 Comments

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Author Notes: I created this one-pot dish after reading a whole slew of recipes from Diana Henry and Yotam Ottolenghi. Inspired by several of their recipes that balance the sweetness of squash or sweet potato with fiery heat, I set out to make a dish centered around butternut squash and chorizo that’s bold in flavor and weeknight doable. The result is this Spanish-inspired ragout that uses a speedy version of romesco as its base. The oven intensifies all of the flavors and transforms the romesco into a darker, bolder, better version of itself. It’s the kind of dish that’s warming and comforting, yet in a way that makes you sit up straight in your chair and pay attention to each and every bite.

Note: I've made this dish with imported, cured Spanish chorizo (i.e., the real deal, from Spain), and domestic, Spanish-style chorizo that is smoked and uncured. Either kind of chorizo works, but I prefer the texture of uncured Spanish-style chorizo in this dish, and luckily it's easier to source.


Serves 6

For romesco:

  • 1/4 cup almonds or hazelnuts
  • `1 14.5-ounce can diced or whole tomatoes (including juice)
  • 2 roasted piquillo or red bell peppers, jarred or freshly roasted
  • 2 large garlic cloves, peeled
  • 1/4 teaspoon teaspoon red pepper flakes, or to taste (if your chorizo is spicy, you may want to omit)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons Spanish smoked paprika
  • 1 tablespoon + 1 teaspoon sherry vinegar, plus more to taste
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • pinch of sugar (optional)

For rest of dish:

  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 large onion, finely chopped (yielding about 2 cups)
  • kosher salt, to taste
  • 1 medium butternut squash (about 2 1/4 pounds), cut into 3/4-inch cubes (yielding about 5 cups)
  • 1 15-ounce can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed)
  • 8 to 12 ounces ounces fully-cooked Spanish or Spanish-style chorizo (domestic, smoked Spanish-style chorizo works really well here), cut into 1/4-inch slices
  • freshly squeezed lemon juice or sherry vinegar, to taste
  • Greek yogurt, for serving
  • Large handful of chopped cilantro (or parsley) leaves, for serving
  1. Heat oven to 400 F.
  2. To make romesco, in a food processor, pulse the almonds until they’re finely ground, about 20 seconds. Add the remaining ingredients, and process until well integrated. Add more salt and sherry vinegar, to taste, and a pinch of sugar, if needed, to round out the flavors. (Can be prepared, covered, and refrigerated up to 3 days in advance.)
  3. Heat olive oil in a large, shallow cast-iron casserole or 12-inch ovenproof sauté pan. Add onion and a big pinch of salt, and sauté until softened and translucent but not colored, about 6 minutes. Add the squash and 1 teaspoon of salt, stirring well to coat the squash with the onions and oil. Sauté another 8 minutes, or until the outside of the squash starts to soften, stirring occasionally. Add the chickpeas, chorizo, and romesco – stirring well to coat all of the ingredients with the romesco. It will seem like a lot of romesco, but it will cook down considerably in the oven.
  4. Transfer the casserole to the oven, and roast uncovered for 30 to 40 minutes (stirring two or three times for even cooking), or until the squash is tender and the romesco has reduced and darkened in color. Remove from oven. Taste, and adjust salt and acidity with a squeeze or two of fresh lemon juice, or more sherry vinegar.
  5. Serve warm with a big dollop of greek yogurt and chopped cilantro. I like serving it over a bed of couscous, and a simple green salad on the side wouldn't be out of place.

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