Squash, Bean, and Corn Stew
1/4 cup olive oil
2 onions, sliced thin
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/2 teaspoon paprika
1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper
1 teaspoon dried oregano
2 tablespoons drained chopped pimentos (one 4-ounce jar)
1 cup canned crushed tomatoes in thick puree (from a 15-ounce can)
1 butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled, halved lengthwise, seeded, and cut into 1-inch dice
1 1/2 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
2 cups drained and rinsed canned kidney beans (one 19-ounce can)
2 cups fresh (cut from about 4 ears) or frozen corn kernels
1/2 cup chopped fresh basil (optional)
In a Dutch oven, heat the oil over moderately low heat. Add the onions and cook, stirring occasionally, until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, paprika, cayenne, and oregano and cook, stirring, until fragrant, about 1 minute.
Stir in the pimientos, tomatoes, squash, water, and salt and bring to a simmer. Cook the stew, covered, stirring occasionally, until the squash is almost tender, about 15 minutes. Uncover and simmer vigorously until almost no liquid remains in the pan, about 5 minutes. Add the beans and corn and cook until the corn is just tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the basil.
Add one cup of diced ham along with the beans and corn.
Use peeled, cubed pumpkin or acorn squash instead of the butternut squash.
WINE RECOMMENDATION: Gewurztraminers from Alsace have a unique combination of aromas: rose petals, ripe apricots, and musky spice. Though called dry, these wines usually contain a bit of residual sugar--a real plus for this dish, with its sweet squash and corn.