2 tablespoon olive oil1/2 small onion, finely chopped 1 clove garlic, minced 1/4 teaspoon dried thyme 1 bay leaf Salt 1/2 cup dry white wine 1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper or 1/2 teaspoon paprika 1 pound tomatoes, peeled, seeded and finely chopped Sugar (optional) Pepper 1 small pumpkin Oil for frying 4 ounces Fontina or Gruyere cheese, sliced or grated Fresh or dried herbs: parsley, marjoram, and/or thyme
Heat the olive oil and add the onion, garlic, thyme, bay leaf and a little salt. Cook over medium heat, stirring frequently, until the onion is soft; then add the wine and let it reduce by half. Add the cayenne or paprika and the tomatoes. Cook slowly for 25 minutes, stirring occasionally, until the sauce is thick. Taste, add a pinch of sugar if the tomatoes are tart, and season with salt and freshly ground black pepper.
While the tomatoes are cooking, prepare the squash. Cut it open, scoop out the seeds and strings, and then, with the flat cut surface resting on the counter, shave off the skin.
Slice the peeled squash into large pieces about 3 inches long and 1/4 inch thick. Heat enough oil to generously coat the bottom of a large skillet, and fry the squash on both sides, so that it is browned and just tender. Remove it to some toweling to drain, then season with salt and freshly ground pepper.
Preheat the oven to 375°F. To form the gratin, put a few spoonfuls of the tomato sauce on the bottom of individual gratin dishes, or use it all to cover the bottom of one large dish. Lay the squash on top in overlapping layers with slices of the cheese or spoons of grated cheese interspersed between the layers. Bake until the cheese is melted and the gratin is hot, about 15 minutes, and serve with the fresh herbs scattered over the surface.
From The Greens Cookbook by Deborah Madison