As autumn grows colder we begin to ask ourselves where has the sun gone? White and grey clouds cover the sky and the by the time you leave the office it is getting dark .
At this time of year, we long for the sun to stay a little a longer. But since we can’t push back time to the summer, we might as well concoct our own warmth. This butternut squash and bell pepper pie is perfect for autumn evenings. It uses seasonable vegetables to create a hearty meal, perfect for a cosy evening in with family or friends. With a slight Italian twist, it transports us back to the slow, summer nights we miss so much.
Short Crust Pastry
250g of plain flour
100g of butter
1 tsp of salt
50g of chilled water
2 tbsp of vegetable oil
1 red onion
1 garlic clove
¼ of a butternut squash, diced
1 red bell pepper
1 yellow bell pepper
1 tin of crushed tomatoes
½ cup of water
1 tbsp of dried basil
1 tsp = one teaspoon
1 tbsp = one tablespoon
Begin by making the short crust pastry. Sift the flour into a medium-size mixing bowl and add the salt. Break the butter into small cubes and add them to the flour. Using your fingers, lightly rub in butter until it the mixture starts to crumb.
Make a well in the centre and pour in the chilled water. With a butter knife blend the two together until a dough forms. Lightly knead the dough in the bowl, and then place to chill in the fridge.
Preheat the oven to 200 degrees Celsius, fan forced.
Quarter and slice the red onion. Sauté with the olive oil in a large pan heating on high. Once the onion begins to soften add the diced butter squash and crush the garlic into the pan.
Dice the peppers, aubergine, and tomato. When the butternut squash begins to soften add the peppers, aubergine and tomato to the pan. Cook on high for two minutes, then turn the heat down to medium. Cook for another five minutes then add the crushed tomatoes, water and basil. Place a lid over the pan and leave to simmer for 15 minutes.
Take the pastry from the fridge and on a floured surface roll it out into a circle. It should be half a centimetre thick and 30cm in diameter.
Pour the pie filling into a 30cm diameter pie dish. Lay the pastry over the dish, cut any excess pastry away and pinch the sides around the edge of the dish to seal in the pie. Use the excess pastry to decorate the pie-top. Cut holes around the side to let out steam.
Cook for in the oven for 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden. Serve immediately.