• STEP 1

    Heat the oven to 180C/160C fan/gas 4. Cut the squash in half through the middle lengthways and scoop out the seeds using a spoon (don’t discard them). Drizzle the squash halves with 1 tbsp oil and rub this in all over. Season and transfer to a baking tray, cut-side up. Roast for 50 mins-1 hr until tender through to the middle when pierced with a fork and lightly caramelised.

  • STEP 2

    Meanwhile, wash the reserved squash seeds in a sieve, removing any stringy pieces of flesh, then pat dry with a tea towel. Tip the seeds into a bowl, drizzle over 2 tsp oil and toss with pinch of each of the spices and a pinch of salt until coated. Transfer to a baking-parchment-lined baking tray and roast on the shelf below the squash for 10-15 mins until golden and crunchy, stirring halfway through to ensure they roast evenly. Leave to cool on the tray.

  • STEP 3

    Heat the remaining 1 tbsp oil in a wide pan over a medium heat and fry the onion for 10 mins until soft. Add the mushrooms and garlic, and cook for another 10 mins until the mushrooms are tender and most of the liquid has evaporated. Stir in the walnuts, remaining mace and mixed spice, the cranberries, maple syrup, sage and kale. Cook for a few minutes more until the kale has started to wilt, then stir in the wine or stock along with some seasoning. Continue to cook until the liquid has mostly evaporated. Remove from the heat and stir in the breadcrumbs until combined (add a splash more wine or stock if you need to soften the bread). The mixture shouldn’t be dry and crumbly, and should hold together when pressed. Season well.

  • STEP 4

    When the squash is tender, scoop out a hollow channel in the neck of the squash to make a gap for the filling. (You can keep the scooped-out flesh for soups or purées.) Spoon in the filling, packing it into the squash and piling up slightly. Drizzle over a little oil and roast for 20-30 mins until lightly crisp on top. Scatter with the squash seeds and slice to serve.

Recipe from Good Food magazine, Vegetarian Christmas 2021

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