FRESH PURÉED PUMPKIN
Makes about 3 cups.
Note: Many pumpkin recipes call for puréed pumpkin. Here's a simple recipe, from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel.
• 2 sugar or pie pumpkins
• Parchment paper
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Split pumpkins in half vertically. Scoop out seeds and membranes. Save seeds for later use, if desired. Place pumpkin halves cut-side down on parchment-lined baking sheet.
Poke the flesh of the pumpkins several times with a fork. Place in preheated oven and roast for about 45 minutes, until a fork is easily inserted into pumpkin and comes out easily.
Turn pumpkins over, scoop out flesh all the way to the skin, and put flesh into food processor. Process until fibers are broken down and mixture is smooth. Put purée in fine-mesh strainer over a bowl or in a cheese-cloth-lined colander. Allow to drain about two hours.
ROASTED PUMPKIN WITH SHALLOTS AND SAGE
Makes 4 servings.
Note: This simple side dish is from Martha Stewart's "Everyday Food."
• 1 medium sugar pumpkin (about 4 lb.), peeled, seeded and cut into 2-in. chunks
• 4 shallots, peeled and quartered lengthwise
• 3 tbsp. olive oil
• 1/4 c. fresh sage leaves, roughly chopped
• Coarse salt
• Ground black pepper
Preheat oven to 450 degrees.
Divide pumpkin, shallots, oil and sage evenly between two large rimmed sheets. Season with salt and pepper, and toss to combine ingredients. Roast until pumpkin is tender, 30 to 35 minutes, tossing once and rotating sheets halfway through.
CURRIED PUMPKIN SEEDS
Makes 21/2 cups.
Note: These can be made five days ahead of serving and stored in an airtight container at room temperature. From Bon Appetit magazine.
• 1 egg white
• 1 tbsp. fresh lime juice
• 1 tsp. olive oil
• 2 tbsp. sugar
• 1 tbsp. curry powder
• 11/2 tsp. coarse kosher salt
• 1/8 tsp. cayenne pepper
• 12 oz. hulled pumpkin seeds (about 21/2 c.)
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a large, rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper. Coat the paper with vegetable oil spray.
In a large bowl, whisk egg white, lime juice and oil. Add sugar, curry powder, salt and cayenne pepper and whisk. Add pumpkin seeds and toss.
Transfer seeds to baking sheet, spreading evenly. Bake in preheated oven until toasted and fragrant, stirring often, about 24 minutes. Cool seeds on the sheet.
PUMPKIN CANNELLONI WITH SAGE BROWN-BUTTER
Makes 6 servings.
Note: Pumpkin and pasta are a natural pairing; pumpkin ravioli is one classic example. Here's another dish that brings those flavors together, without cranking up the pasta-making machine. From Country Living magazine.
• 11/2 lb. pumpkin (peeled, seeded and chopped)
• 11/2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil (plus more for drizzling)
• 3 large garlic cloves, chopped
• 1/2 c. ricotta cheese
• 1/2 c. grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
• 11/2 tsp. finely chopped fresh sage (plus 4 large whole leaves)
• 1/4 tsp. salt (plus more to taste)
• 1/2 tsp. freshly ground black pepper (plus more to taste)
• 1/2 package (8 oz.) oven-ready lasagna sheets (6 sheets)
• 6 tbsp. butter
Preheat oven to 350 degrees.
Place pumpkin and 3/4 cup water in large skillet over medium heat. Cover and steam until tender, 20 minutes. Place steamed pumpkin in medium bowl and mash until smooth.
Heat 11/2 teaspoons olive oil in a small skillet, and sauté garlic until golden. Transfer garlic to mortar and pestle, and crush into a paste (or do this with a fork). Stir cheeses, chopped sage, salt, pepper and garlic paste into mashed pumpkin. Set aside.
Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Cook lasagna sheets until tender, about 2 minutes. Transfer to a plate and drizzle with olive oil to prevent pasta from sticking together. Reserve 1/4 cup pasta water.
Liberally brush a medium baking dish with oil. Place a lasagna sheet on a clean work surface. Add 4 tablespoons pumpkin mixture to center of lasagna, so that it can be folded over to form a cannelloni tube. Transfer to prepared baking dish. Repeat with remaining lasagna sheets, laying them side by side in the pan.
Pour reserved pasta water over lasagna and cover dish tightly with foil. Bake in preheated oven until heated through and pasta is tender, 20 to 25 minutes.
Cook butter and whole sage leaves in small skillet over medium-high heat until golden-brown. Drizzle over cannelloni and serve immediately.
PUMPKIN MOUSSE PARFAITS
Serves 8 to 10.
Note: This rich and simple dish is from Barefoot Contessa Ina Garten. The recipe called for canned pumpkin. We tested it with fresh pumpkin purée and it worked beautifully.
• 1/4 c. dark rum
• 1 (2 tsp.) packet unflavored gelatin powder
• 1 (15-oz.) can pumpkin (not pie filling) or a scant 2 c. puréed pumpkin (see Note)
• 1/2 c. granulated sugar
• 1/2 c. lightly packed light brown sugar
• 2 egg yolks (from pasteurized eggs)
• 2 tsp. grated orange zest
• 1/2 tsp. ground cinnamon
• 1/4 tsp. ground nutmeg
• 1/2 tsp. kosher salt
• 11/2 c. cold heavy cream
• 11/2 tsp. pure vanilla extract
• Sweetened whipped cream for garnish
• 8 to 10 chopped ginger cookies
• Crystallized ginger, for decoration, optional
Place the rum in a heat-proof bowl and sprinkle the gelatin over it. Set aside 10 minutes for the gelatin to soften.
In a large bowl, whisk together the pumpkin, granulated sugar, brown sugar, egg yolks, orange zest, cinnamon, nutmeg and salt. Set the bowl of gelatin over a pan of simmering water and cook until gelatin is clear. Immediately whisk the hot gelatin mixture into the pumpkin mixture.
In bowl on an electric mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, whip the 11/2 cups heavy cream and the vanilla until soft peaks form. Fold whipped cream into pumpkin mixture.
To assemble, spoon some of the pumpkin mixture into parfait glasses, add a layer of whipped cream, then some chopped cookies. Repeat, ending with a third layer of pumpkin. Cover with plastic wrap and refrigerate 4 hours overnight. To serve, decorate with whipped cream and slivered crystallized ginger, if desired.