Healthy Biltong Recipes by Gary O’Hanlon
#07 – Irish Biltong Penne Butternut Squash & Cherry Tomato Bake with Feta
What Gary says about this dish …
“Nowadays my wee wife Netty is a dab hand in the kitchen but that wasn’t always the case. One meal really does stand out though from those early days and it was quite similar to this one. Week by week I’d drop wee hints and tips to help her along and initially I think she found it insulting or maybe even condescending but thankfully as time went on she realized I was merely just helping. I often ask for help in areas of expertise that I’d be seriously lacking and I never look upon that as a sense of weakness. Take all the help you can get I say and thankfully that’s Netty’s attitude nowadays.“
“The beauty about this dish is in the roasting. Roasting or charring really changes the flavour dynamic in many dishes. The roasting of the garlic and the tomatoes here along with the addition of cheese sort of combine to create a sauce without there actually being a sauce per se. I love the simplicity of it and the killer flavour. I hope you agree. “
200g Irish Biltong
400g penne pasta
8 cloves garlic
drizzle or two of olive oil
1 red chilli, finely sliced
32 cherry tomatoes
1 small head butternut squash, peeled and cut into pieces
5g chopped thyme
120g feta cheese
sea salt and pepper to taste
Pre-heat your oven to 180C. Place the squash, chilli, garlic and tomatoes in a large bowl, season well and toss in a drizzle or two of olive oil. Tip everything onto a roasting tray and sprinkle with the thyme and mix well once more. Roast for 25 minutes or until the squash is tender.
Whilst the veg is cooking, cook the pasta until al-dente and set aside keeping warm. (start cooking the pasta when the veg is in the oven 15 minutes). Remove the veg when cooked and place in a large bowl. Using a fork, squash the cherry tomatoes & garlic roughly and mix everything together gently so as not to crush the vegetables. Now add in the cooked pasta, feta, and biltong. You want to try and get a little of the crushed tomato and garlic on everything.
Season to taste then divide amongst the four bowls and serve. You can add a squeeze of lemon juice for an extra bit of zing.
Chef, TV & Radio Broadcaster and Columnist