This week we are feeling very autumn-y. The weather here in London? Not so much yet. It is sunny and smells like spring. But as we really love autumn, this week we’ve prepared a recipe that will make you feel warm and cozy inside. And it also goes with the lovely weather.

What could we be making that feels both like spring and autumn? Wholemeal pasta with roasted butternut squash! What’s very interesting about this recipe is that this dish is equally enjoyable served both hot or at room temperature. So you can enjoy it on a sunny day too!

When we cook, we always love trying out new types of pasta. Remember our zea penne pasta salad?  What about our zea spaghetti with asparagus?  This week we are trying our new wholemeal spaghetti. It is nutty, cooks in no time and somehow makes us feel healthier. And we’ve paired the butternut squash with our smoked paprika and smoked salt! Yum!

 

Serves 4

1 medium squash, approx. 750g
3 tbsp olive oil
1tsp smoked paprika
smoked salt
a few pinches of cinnamon
a few pinches of grated nutmeg
1 large chilli, finely chopped

320g wholemeal spaghetti

To serve
4 tbsp olive oil
1 red chilli, finely chopped
1 lime
salt (to taste)

Preheat your oven at 180C

Wash and cut the squash in large, bite-sized pieces. You can peel it if you want, but we prefer not to.

Place the squash in a large baking tray, along with the olive oil, smoked paprika, smoked salt, cinnamon, nutmeg, chilli. Mix everything together so that each piece of squash is nicely coated with olive oil and spices.

Bake at 180C for 40min, stirring the pieces half way through. Squash should be tender and slightly crispy on the edges.

In the meantime boil the pasta in a large pot of salted water for 5-10min, until al dente. Drain and place in a large bowl with 4 tbsp extra virgin olive oil. Stir well and add the cooked squash, chilli. Taste and season with salt if needed. Serve with lime wedges and squeeze some lime on top of the pasta before eating.


This week we’re all into cooking. And we are getting ready for our cooking workshops this autumn! The first one is just for kids, at the end of October with the wonderful Amaryllis who makes cooking a fascinating experience for the little ones. And then there is our November one, for adults, with Lia who brings together her Welsh life and Greek heritage. We’ve also started planning our December one, full of Christmas recipes with a special guest chef-details soon to follow.

So yes, we do love cooking this week. And we’ve prepared a vibrant dressing for you. Dressings are our favourite things. They can turn any ingredient or dish into something you look forward to savouring. This one is made with yogurt! You see, we wanted to get a bit away from the vinaigrettes and create something creamy and comforting. Its secret ingredient is our smoked paprika! You can use this dressing in green salads, pour over roasted vegetables or make a delicious potato salad.

This quantity is enough for 6 side salads. You will need:

150g yogurt
1 tbsp mustard
5 tbsp olive oil
zest of 1 lemon
2 tbsp lemon juice
1 tsp smoked paprika
3 tbsp water

In a bowl mix the yogurt and mustard. Add the lemon zest, juice and smoked paprika and mix well. Add the olive oil and stir, adding the water one tablespoon at a time so that you have the texture you want. If you want the dressing to be more runny then add a bit more water, one tablespoon at a time.


Gemista is a traditional way of cooking and enjoying vegetables in Greece. The word gemista, literally means filled or stuffed. It is a summer food, almost exclusively made during the summer months, as it uses predominantly tomatoes. Tomatoes are at their best in the summer as you may know.

When it comes to most traditional Greek foods, the perception (and often reality) is that they are labour intense. This one, gemista, usually is, as it requires carefully removing the flesh from tomatoes, preparing the stuffing with rice or mince meat, stuffing them and then baking them in the oven. However, in our version here, we are using bulgur wheat instead of rice. And bulgur wheat cooks much faster than rice. And instead of tomatoes, we are using colourful peppers. Removing the flesh is not necessary here, you just have to remove the seeds. So the actual time you’ll spend in the kitchen is really not that much.

The recipe below creates a very pleasant dish. It feels like that friend you want to spend time with on a cool summer evening. It is not heavy on oil, as most gemista usually are and the bulgur wheat gives it an interesting nuttiness. Add to that the sweet smoked paprika and fragrant herbs and you can imagine what we are talking about. So read on and come visit us at Borough Market to source everything you need!

For 6 long stuffed peppers

6 long peppers (red, yellow, green, you choose)
1 medium white onion, finely chopped
3 tbsp olive oil
200g bulgur wheat
2 tbsp sweet smoked paprika
2 generous handfuls of pine nuts
1 small bunch of parsley, finely chopped
1 small bunch of mint, finely chopped
salt
pepper
¼ cup olive oil

Preheat your oven at 200C.

Cut the top part of each pepper. Remove the seeds using your fingers, a small knife or by tapping the pepper on your chopping board.

In a pot warm up the 3 tbsp of oil and gently fry the onion until translucent. Add the paprika and stir until your onions and oil turn red. Add the bulgur wheat and pine nuts. Stir so that everything is well mixed. Add your pine nuts. Add 1 cup of water and stir for a couple of minutes until the bulgur wheat absorbs it all. You are going for one step before al dente here, so that the rest cooks in the oven.

Add the herbs and season with salt and pepper. Taste and add more seasonings or herbs. You need the flavour of your stuffing to be quite intense, as once it is fully cooked, the flavours calm down.

(At this point you could just stop and eat the stuffing, ignoring the rest of the recipe, but trust us, it gets better)

Using a spoon, stuff each pepper with bulgur wheat. Place them on a baking tray with the ¼ cup of olive oil and ½ cup of water. Bake until the peppers are soft and the filling is cooked through, around 30-40min.

Serve with feta cheese or Greek yogurt and warm crusty bread. Welcome to the Greek summer!