Onion squash with sausages, apples and shallots

yum yum

I love cooking while it’s raining out. My kitchen warm, the window fogged up as I potter about with a podcast on. It’s comforting to have enough ingredients in my cupboards that I don’t need to run out and get soaked. What’s even better is a dinner that takes care of itself after a while so I can wander off for a bit, paying it very little attention but knowing that something lovely is coming together all on its own. This dish is like that: you get it ready (and can do so in advance and keep it waiting in the fridge if you like), then pop it in a hot oven and there it is an hour later: dinner, and a good one too.

I served this with a buttery, garlicky parmesan mash but it would also work well with a good loaf of crusty bread, or perhaps some polenta with lots of olive oil if your sausages lean Italian. It serves 3 but is easily doubled- just make sure you use an extra baking dish so none is too full, as this will change the cooking time and impede caramelisation.

Serves 3

6 good sausages
1/2 onion squash (any similar squash with a firm flesh will do nicely)
2 generous handfuls of shallots
fresh thyme
2 apples (I used Braeburn, but any would do!)
2 teaspoons honey
olive oil

Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (or whatever your sausage packaging recommends).

Carefully cut the skin off the squash, losing as little of the flesh as possible. Then cut the squash into half-moons, scooping out the seeds as you go.

Peel the shallots and top and tail them (or don’t peel them, if you don’t mind popping them out of their skins at the end).

Quarter the apples and cut out the tough core.

Divide the sausages, squash, shallots, and apples between two largeish oven dishes, then drizzle generously with olive oil and season well with salt and pepper.

Give the tray a good shake, then add the thyme sprigs (four or five in each tray) and drizzle a teaspoon of honey over each tray.

Bake for an hour, turning the ingredients with a spatula every 20 minutes.

When the sausages are cooked to your liking and the squash is soft with darkened edges, it’s ready to serve with mash, bread, polenta, or whatever you like.

Drizzle the cooking liquid from the bottom of your tray over the plate, or use it as a base for a gravy by adding wine and deglazing.