Sweat one sliced onion in some olive oil, then add a clove or two of chopped garlic and half a pumpkin (depending on quantity desired), deseeded, but not necessarily peeled. I should add that if you use a butternut squash you might want to peel that because the skin can be a bit tougher. Cook the vegetables for 10 minutes or so, allowing the pumpkin to soften a bit, then tip in a can of tomatoes and around 400-500ml vegetable or chicken stock. Season with some salt, pepper and chilli flakes until the pumpkin is completely tender. Whizz with a hand-held blender or similar until smooth. At this point you may want to let it down a bit with some more stock as it can thicken up withe pumpkin. Tip in a can of cannellini beans and reheat, then serve in deep bowls, marvelling at the bonfire glow of your supper.
Sweat one onion in a pan with some chopped garlic. (All winter recipes seem to start like this, I find). Add a chopped aubergine and a tsp of dried oregano, put on a lid and allow to sweat/fry until the aubergine is tender. Stir in around 400g pork mince and stir until cooked through then add a can of tomatoes, some chilli flakes and seasoning and a tbsp of tomato puree and simmer until the sauce is thickened to your liking. Add more oregano if you want then tip over penne pasta or even spaghetti and sprinkle with Parmesan.
The Sunday supper:
Disclaimer: This one does not involve a can of tomatoes.
Finely chop some rosemary leaves with salt and press into the skin of two duck legs. In a large casserole, brown the duck legs, allowing the fat to render out, until crisp and bronze of skin rather like some 70’s ST Tropez goddess. Add a chopped leek and soften in the duck fat, then some chopped pumpkin and some halved waxy potatoes. Throw in a glass of red wine, put the lid on and simmer very gently for around 45 minutes, but keep checking it. The pumpkin should soften into the sauce and the potatoes should be completely tender. Check the seasoning and serve with some sautéed greens, cavolo nero for preference.