I love Moroccan food and this m’hanncha (snake) recipe from Jamie Oliver encases a beautiful mix of squash, spices and pearl barley in a filo pastry roll.

I was mildly anxious as the instructions for laying out and brushing the pastry left plenty of room for mistakes to be made. The filling and rolling was even more worrisome, especially as I didn't have a friend (as recommended) to help me roll. I had visions of broken pastry, filling flying everywhere and a frayed temper. Much to my delight the rolling turned out to be much easier than the recipe suggested and one attempt left me with a perfect snake to curl up very gently on to a baking tray.

Adapted from Jamie Oliver's Christmas Cookbook, there was certainly something celebratory about this dish and it felt a little over the top for an unremarkable Sunday in October. Equally it was nice to serve up something special and this vegan m’hanncha added another great recipe to our list of veggie meals.