Sunday, 14 April 2013

Mediterranean roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes

My parents are visiting this weekend and I'm so happy because honestly, this long winter, interminable cold winds and showers were really starting to get me down and I was really missing home. Yup, I could not see hope for spring or summer weather over here and that's when I start thinking about long queues in the sun outside ice cream parlours in Milan (where my family is) or Rome ( where my oldest friends are), old men sitting at tables outside bars playing cards, drinking coffee while watching the world go by and lots of Vespas whizzing by. Anyway, my point being my parents are here and I'm oh so happy. Yesterday we walked around town all day so when we got home around 7 we were pretty tired to start cooking so we bought some olives, grilled artichokes and eggplants, olive bread and ripe tomatoes and had a little Italian home picnic instead. Plus... I quickly made something that my mom adores but can't have as often in Italy.. Roasted sweet potato and butternut squash. I'm not sure why sweet potatoes are not imported as much over there but hey, it is true as Italians we do already have some pretty awesome tasty vegetables. Even so, I would always find time for sweet potatoes as they are probably my favourite root vegetable!
And my mom adores it too. Probably more than I do as she doesn't get to eat it as often so it's a real treat for her..
So what follows is my quick recipe for roasted butternut squash and sweet potatoes with Italian dried herbs, ready in 30 min, just the time for you to get changed when you come home from work, lay the table, have some bits and pieces as antipasto like we did or prepare any other quick main that would go well with this side dish.
Now, I know it would be so much better to have a proper whole butternut squash, cut it in half, roast it etc.. But I'm not going to lie to you, after a long day I really cannot be asked. Maybe on a Sunday when I'm relaxed and have all the time in the world, but after a busy weekday including working and studying I buy a bag of ready chopped butternut squash and sweet potatoes so I can just dress them and pop them in the oven. Yes I do. So if sometimes you're a bit lazy like I am but still want yummy food quickly then read on, otherwise.. Look away now.x

RECIPE (for 2 hungry people or 4 small sides)

1 Pack Chopped Butternut Squash and sweet Potato ( or just butternut squash and then you can peel and chop 1 big sweet potato)

1 1/2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper
1tbsp Mediterranean dried herbs ( mine is my grandma's mix, she never remembers what's in it, bless her, but I think a mix of oregano, thyme, rosemary should do the trick.)

Just pop the chopped squash and potatoes on a bowl, add oil and herbs and
season with salt and pepper.
Mix it up, put on a baking tray and in the oven at gas mark 6 for 30 min BUT take the tray out and mix everything up after 15 min before putting them back in again for the remaining time.

Take out of the oven and serve!x

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