Fast Recipes

Polenta with roast pumpkin, speck and almonds

What winter comfort food is made of.

By Jessica Brook
  • Serves 4
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The sweet, caramelised flavours of the pumpkin are amplified here by the salty speck and smoky almonds. Use plain roasted almonds if you prefer.


  • Extra-virgin olive oil, for greasing and roasting, plus extra to serve
  • ¼ Kent pumpkin (600gm), skin on, cut into thin wedges
  • 100 gm speck, rind removed, thinly sliced
  • 4 rosemary sprigs, leaves picked
  • 1 litre (4 cups) unsweetened almond milk
  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed
  • 180 gm instant polenta
  • 40 gm (½ cup) finely grated parmesan
  • 50 gm butter, diced
  • Coarsely chopped smoked almonds, to serve


  • 1
    Preheat oven to 220°C and lightly grease an oven tray. Toss pumpkin in oil, season to taste and place on prepared tray. Roast until golden and tender (15 minutes). Add speck and cook until crisp (10 minutes), adding rosemary in the last minute.
  • 2
    Bring almond milk, garlic and 250ml water to a simmer in a saucepan over medium heat, then gradually add polenta, whisking to combine. Reduce heat to low and cook, whisking occasionally, until smooth and thick (6 minutes). Whisk in parmesan and butter. Season to taste. To serve, divide polenta among bowls, drizzle over a little oil and top with pumpkin, speck, rosemary and almonds.