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Butternut squash with sweet spices

Time Active work time: 10 minutes Total preparation time: 50 minutes
Yields Serves 4 to 6
Butternut squash with sweet spices
(Lawrence K. Ho / Los Angeles Times)
1

Peel or cut off the squash skin, remove the seeds and strings, and cut the meat in 1-inch pieces. If using fresh tomatoes, halve and seed them, reserving the juice. Drain canned tomatoes, reserving the juice. Chop the tomatoes.

2

Heat the oil in a large, deep, heavy saucepan or stew pan. Add the onion and cook over medium heat until golden, 7 minutes. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook uncovered for 5 minutes. Add the squash, water, salt to taste, 1/4 teaspoon pepper, cinnamon, ginger and sugar. Stir and bring to a boil. Cover and cook over low heat, occasionally stirring gently, until the squash is tender, about 30 minutes.

3

If the sauce is too sweet, add 1 to 2 tablespoons of the reserved tomato juice. Taste and add nutmeg and more salt, pepper, cinnamon, ginger or sugar if you like. If the sauce is too thin, uncover and cook over medium heat until it thickens, 2 or 3 minutes. Serve hot.

If you want a sweeter stew, stir in more sugar to taste or add 1/3 cup raisins and simmer the stew for 5 more minutes to soften them. You can also use sweet dumpling, kabocha or Mexican calabaza squash. With acorn or banana squash, which are less sweet, you may want to add a little more sugar. This can be prepared two or three days ahead; it reheats well.

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