Polenta tapenade

• Polenta ingredients: 100 g. precooked polenta – 500 ml. water – 40 g. tapenade and salt to taste (in moderation as tapenade is already salted).

• Squash ingredients: 4 squash slices – 1 garlic clove – 2 tsp provençal herbs – 1 tsp tandoori masala – 1/2 tsp ground ginger – 1/2 tsp ground mustard – 1/2 tsp ground black pepper – 1/2 tsp ground cumin – 1 dried chilli – olive oil.

• Preparation: for the polenta, boil the water in a pan and sprinkle the polenta when it sarts boiling, stirring with a wooden spoon for 2 to 3 minutes. Add a pinch of salt and withdraw from the fire when the contents start separating from the walls of the saucepan. Add the tapenade and mix well. Pour the polenta into a tray to obtain a 1-cm layer. Cool and store in the fridge. Mix all the spices with the chopped garlic, ground chilli and enough olive oil to cover the squash later. Halve the squash slices and peel them, then coat them in olive oil and salt. Stick them in the pre-heated oven at 180o for about half an hour, depending on the thickness. Add the spices about halfway through the cooking. Remove when it starts going brown.

Squash and chickpea soup

• Ingredients: 200 g. chickpeas; 4 cloves; 2 onions; 2 tbsp star anise, 8 sprigs of parsley; 1 celery stick; 1 bayleaf; 500 g. peeled diced seedless squash; 1⁄2 tsp ground white pepper; 1⁄2 l. milk; 150 g. butter.

• Preparation: Steep the chickpeas in water for 24 hours. Rinse under the cold tap and put in a pot covered in water, bring to the boil and simmer for 45 minutes or until soft. Let them cool. Drain the ckickpeas, skin them by pinching the skin between your fingers, then reserve. Dig two cloves into each of the onions. Put the star anise powder into a muslin bag. Tie the parsley, celery and bayleaf into a bunch. Pour the diced squash, herbs, milk and star anise into a pot, adding salt and pepper to taste. Bring to the boil and simmer for 1 hour or until the squash is soft. Remove the onions, star anise and herbs. Make sure the cloves are still driven into the onions. Mash the hot squash into the milk while still hot. Pour the mixture into a clean saucepan, add the butter and melt. Heat the chickpeas in their cooking water, drain and add to the soup before serving.

Grilled squash

• Ingredients: 1 kg. squash; 100 melting cheese; 100 g. butter; 1 glass single cream; salt and ground nutmeg; water; oil.

• Preparation: Boil the diced squash in salted water with a splash of oil for about 25 minutes. Drain – you can keep the stock for another recipe. Place the cooked squash in an oven dish, pour the cream on top and sprinkle with ground nutmeg. Then add the cheese cut into strips and the butter. Grill for about 3 minutes.

Fusilli with marscarpone and squash

• Ingredients: 500 g. peeled and diced squash – 350 g. fresh pasta – 200 g. mascarpone – fresh oregano and thyme leaves – 1 pinch ground nutmeg and fenugreek – 40 g. grated parmesan cheese – chives– salt and pepper to taste – 1/2 cup pine kernels.

• Preparation: boil the squash and chopped herbs till tender. Reserve. Boil the pasta in the same water. Dilute the mascarpone in a little of the boiling water and mix it with the chives and pepper. Lift the pasta when al dente, mix it with the squash and herbs, cover with the mascarpone sauce and keep in a hot oven until serving time. Sprinkle with pine kernels.

Squash ravioli

• Ingredients: 650 g. squash – 50 g. grated parmesan – 2 eggs – 100 tsp almonds – 200 ml single cream – salt and pepper to taste. For the pasta: 300 g. flour – 3 eggs – 1 tbsp olive oil – salt.

• Preparation: wash, dice and bake the squash in the oven at 180oC for one hour until soft, then whisk it. Crush it and set aside 1/3 for the sauce. For the filling, mix the remai- ning 2/3 with the parmesan, crushed almonds, eggs and a pinch of salt. Make the ravioli pasta with the flour, eggs, oil and a pinch of salt. Form a line of mounds of filling on to the rolled pasta. Make a sauce with the whisked squash, salt, pepper and single cream. Boil the ravioli while the sauce thickens over a medium fire for a few minutes.

Squash soup with croutons

• Ingredients: 1 small squash (about 2 kg.); 200 g. double cream; 50 cl. Chicken stock; salt, pepper, ground nutmeg; 10 large croutons; a few parsley sprigs.

• Preparation: Cut the squash into a hat shape, empty it making sure the skin is not damaged. Remove the seeds and fibrous parts, then dice the remaining pulp. Steam cook the diced squash for 20 minutes. Heat the chicken stock, then process the cooked squash in a food processor, gradually adding the heated stock until a creamy mixture is obtained. Pour into a saucepan and add the cream. Season with salt, pepper and nutmeg to taste. Pour the soup into the hollowed squash shape and add the diced croutons. Decorate with some parsley.

Mince stuffed squash

• Ingredients: A 11⁄2 k squash; 1 onion; 2 garlic cloves; 500 g. minced pork; 4 tbsps tomato puree; 1⁄2 tbsp oregano; 2 tbsp fresh basil; 30 g. grated hard cheese; 5 g. butter; 1 pinch black pepper; salt.

• Preparation: Peel the squash and slice the top off. With a sharp knife remove the seeds and hollow out the centre. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Melt half the butter in a pan and gently fry the onion and half the garlic. Add the mince, tomato puree, oregano and basil. Salt and pepper to taste and sauté for 10 minutes. Remove from the heat and mix in the grated cheese. Stuff the squash with the mixture. Smear the rest of the butter onto a piece of tinfoil, place the squash on top and sprinkle on the remaining garlic. Close the foil into a parcel and bake in a moderate oven (180oC) for one hour. Remove the foil, thickly slice the stuffed squash and serve very hot.

Squash and chestnut soufflé

• Ingredients: 500 g. squash mash; 50 g butter; 1⁄4 tsp ground cinnamon; 1⁄4 tsp ground ginger; salt and pepper; 20 g dried chestnuts, steeped the previous night; 3 egg yolks; 4 egg whites.

• Preparation: To make the squash mash, cut a small squash in half, removing seeds and fibres. Smear a little olive oil and bake in a preheated oven at 200oC for 15-20 minutes. Scoop out the softened pulp and mash it with the butter, spices, salt and pepper. Put the chestnutus in cold water, bring to the boil and cook until tender, about 45 to 60 minutes. Drain, peel and grind them. Mix with the squash mash. Separate the egg whites from the yolks and mix these into the mash. Whisk the whites until stiff, then fold them gradually into the mixture. Place in a greased 1⁄2 l. soufflé mould and cook in a preheated oven at 200oC for 20 minutes.

Squash and mushroom risotto

• Ingredients: 400 g. Riso Galo Carnaroli; 1 onion; 2 ca- rrots; 200 g. Squash ; 200 g. Mushrooms ; 1 black sausage a splash of white wine ; 4 black pepper grains ; 1 l. vegetable stock; salt; oil; rosemary.

• Preparation: Gently fry the onion with the oil in a large saucepan for 5 minutes. Add a little water if the onion is cooking too fast. Add the peeled and chopped carrots, cooking for a further 10 minutes. Peel and dice the squash. Add to the saucepan with the salt, pepper, rosemary and splash of white wine. Cook until the latter evaporates. Clean and dice the mushrooms and place them in the sau- cepan with the sliced sausage. Stir and cook for 5 minutes. Add the rice, stir and then add 1⁄4 l of the stock, previously heated. Simmer gently, gradually adding stock as needed. Salt and pepper to taste. Add and mix thoroughly the parmesan cheese some 15 minutes after the rice starts cooking. Leave for a further 3 minutes. Remove from the heat, cover and leave for 2 minutes before serving.

Rice with parmesan cheese

• Ingredients: 400 g. rice – 40 g. squash pulp – 150 g. butter – 100 g. parmesan cheese – 1 onion, finely chopped – stock – parsley – salt and pepper to taste.

• Preparation: Heat half the butter in a pan. Add the onion and diced squash. Pour in some of the stock, salt ald pepper to taste. Simmer for about 10 minutes. Add the rice, gradually pouring in the rest of the stock. When the rice is cooked, add the remaining butter, the parsley and grated parmesan. Leave covered for a couple of minutes before serving.