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The Guardian - UK
The Guardian - UK
José Pizarro

José Pizarro’s recipe for pumpkin pisto

Jose Pizarro's pumpkin pisto is a southern Spanish classic.
José Pizarro’s pumpkin pisto. Photograph: Ola O Smit/The Guardian. Food styling: Iona Blackshaw. Prop styling: Anna Wilkins. Food styling assistant: Valeria Russo.

Pisto is a tasty vegetable stew from Murcia, Castilla–La Mancha and Extremadura. In this version, it’s essential you use a culinary pumpkin or squash, rather than one of those orange Halloween pumpkins that have, at best, a thin, watery flavour – to my mind, you can’t beat a crown prince, a Queensland blue, or a smaller acorn or onion squash. If you’re in the mood and really want to go for it, roast the pumpkin first, drizzled in olive oil and well seasoned, to caramelise the outside and so bring even more flavour to this autumnal pisto.

Pumpkin pisto

Prep 10 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 6

150ml olive oil, plus extra to fry the eggs
1 large onion, peeled and finely sliced
1 red chilli, finely chopped
4 garlic cloves, peeled and crushed
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 aubergines
, stalks discarded, flesh diced
600g pumpkin or squash, peeled, deseeded and diced
4 sprigs fresh oregano
10 fresh sage leaves
1 x 400g tin cherry tomatoes

Sea salt and black pepper
cooking chorizo, finely chopped
125g slightly stale white bread, torn into small pieces
1 small handful flat-leaf parsley, finely chopped
6 eggs, to serve

Put three tablespoons of the oil in a large casserole and gently fry the onion, chilli and garlic, stirring often, for 10 minutes, until softened but not coloured. Add the cumin, fry for a minute more, then add the aubergine and remaining 105ml oil, and fry, stirring occasionally, for five to six minutes.

Add the pumpkin, oregano and sage, tip in the tomatoes, then half-fill the empty can with water and add that, too. Season generously, then bring to a boil. Turn down the heat to a gentle simmer, cover and leave to cook for 40 minutes, until the pumpkin and aubergine are very tender.

Meanwhile, fry the chorizo in a dry frying pan until it turns golden and releases its oil. Lift out with a slotted spoon and set aside. Add the bread to the chorizo oil in the pan, fry until golden and crisp, then drain on kitchen paper. Put the bread in a bowl with the chorizo and parsley, and toss to combine.

Heat a good amount of olive oil in a nonstick pan, then fry the eggs until the whites are bubbly and crisp and the yolks just set. Remove and drain on kitchen paper.

Ladle the pisto into shallow bowls and serve each portion scattered with the crisp chorizo crumb and topped with a fried egg.

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