One-pot pumpkin and meatball bake


    750g pork mince

    100g fresh breadcrumbs

    1 small onion (finely chopped)

    2 garlic cloves (crushed)

    zest of 1 large lemon (reserve the juice)

    a pinch of dried thyme

    a pinch of dried oregano

    1 large egg

    800g pumpkin

    1 bulbs garlic (broken into cloves, unpeeled)

    4 tbsp olive oil

    500g cherry tomatoes

    400g Tenderstem broccoli (each stem cut in half)

    juice of 1 lemon

    finely grated parmesan cheese (optional)

    small bunch of flat leaf parsley (chopped)

    warm ciabatta bread

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Main serves 4

An easy one-pot feast that’s really economical but also smart enough for informal Sunday lunches.

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For the meatballs, mix the pork with the breadcrumbs, onion, garlic, lemon zest, herbs and egg. Reserve the lemon juice for squeezing over once cooking has finished. Season to taste with salt and freshly ground black pepper. Roll the mixture into walnut-sized balls, setting aside on a large plate as you go. Slightly damp hands will make this a less messy task, although if you have time, this is a job children love to get involved in. Just try to help them get all the meatballs similar in size so they cook evenly.


Preheat the oven to 200C/400F/gas mark 6.


Cut the pumpkin up into 3-4cm chunks – leaving the skin on for easier preparation and a great chewy texture – and spread it out into a large roasting tray. Tuck in the cloves of garlic and drizzle over most of the oil, and season with a little salt and pepper. Roast in the hot oven for 15 minutes.


Remove the tray from the oven, add the tomatoes and give them a good mix with the pumpkin, then spread out the meatballs over the top. Return to the oven for 15 minutes.


Blanch the Tenderstem in boiling water for 2 minutes before draining well. Add to the roasting tray, stirring to mix and return to the oven for 10 minutes. Squeeze over the lemon juice and scatter with the parsley and Parmesan (if using) before taking to the table in the tray. Serve with plenty of crusty ciabattas to mop up the juices.

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