I thought this was a weekend for using up things that have been sitting around in the pantry. During the summer I bought some organic polenta and thought that this would make a great accompaniment to roasted butternut squash. I also had some jalapeno chorizo in the fridge and set about making an autumnal comfort food dish. Adding a good helping of parmesan to the polenta along with some caramelised onions balanced out the spicy/salty/sweet flavours perfectly. This was ready in an hour. Serves two hungry adults! —LloJo
small or 1/4 large butternut squash, peeled & cut into 2cm cubes
Line a baking tray with foil. Put the cubed squash into a large bowl and toss with 1 tablespoon of olive oil, the smoked paprika, salt, pepper and honey. Spread onto baking sheet and roast for 25-30 minutes, until tender but firm. Check halfway through cooking and turn over.
Meanwhile melt the butter in a non stick pan over medium heat and add the onions, with a dash of salt. Stir continuously for a few minutes, then turn down the heat, stirring occasionally, until the onions go soft and turn a deep colour.
Boil the water in a heavy pan. Add the polenta in a steady stream, while whisking. Keep whisking for two minutes until the polenta is absorbed, then add the salt and turn down the heat to the lowest setting. Keep checking the polenta and stirring every few minutes to prevent sticking. If it gets too thick, keep adding water a few tablespoons at a time. The polenta will be cooked after 25-30 mins but is better if you can cook it longer - the flavours will develop and it will become more creamy. Taste for seasoning (be careful, it will be hot!) (I then turned off the oven and kept the squash covered with greaseproof paper until the polenta was ready to serve.)
When the polenta has reached the desired consistency, add the parmesan and stir until it's all melted. Then add 2-3 tablespoons of really good olive oil.
Spoon the polenta onto a warm plate or dish. Then top with the squash, shrimp and chorizo. Top with the onions, and a drizzle of olive oil. If you have chilli oil, this would be good instead of the olive oil, and/or a drizzle of balsamic vinegar.