Monday, November 28, 2016


A life event in the form of a broken boiler precluded further posting last week and, as I felt much in need of warmth, I invented this:

Spezzatino di autunno

1 kg pork cut for spezzatino or casserole  [in Italy, ask the butcher to cut the rind off]
3 zucchini
1 kg piece pumpkin
4 medium potatoes
6 small chillies [not the hottest!] or chilli flakes to taste
1 white onion
1 clove garlic
7 tablesp olive oil
sumac to taste,  coarse seasalt and freshly ground black pepper
2 sachets saffron
200 ml white wine
juice 2 oranges and grated zest of 1

Cut the pumpkin into manageable pieces and cut the peel off. Cut into chunks and cook in boiling, slightly salted water until soft but not falling apart. Drain and set aside.
Slice the zucchini - not too thinly - and cook in 2 tablesp oil until golden on both sides. Drain on kitchen paper.  [I know it sounds odd, putting fried zucchini in a stew but trust me on this.]
Chop the onion and garlic and soften in a large, wide pan. Add the pork pieces and cook, turning, until browned on all sides.
Now add the pumpkin, zucchini, white wine, orange juice, spices, seasoning and chillis.  Stir, then add the potatoes, sliced. [I don't peel them but you can if you wish.]
Leave to simmer, covered, for 50 mins - 1 hour. Stir now and then and add a little water if it seems too dry.  The pumpkin will go mushy but the dish will be all the more flavoursome for that.
Grate orange zest over to serve.

Certainly not Italian but makes good use of autumn ingredients here. Buon appetito.

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