Recipes 10.27.16

Pumpkins? Say Cheese!

I am not including a pumpkin pie recipe because they are a dime a dozen. Just follow your favorite recipe and try it this time with real Long Island cheese pumpkin instead of that canned stuff. I would suggest roasting or microwaving rather than boiling, because you need to control the moisture content. You don’t want it too watery.

Pumpkin Stuffed With Everything Good 

Here is Dorie Greenspan’s recipe for stuffed pumpkin.

1 pumpkin, about 3-4 lbs.

Salt and pepper

1/4 lb. stale bread, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

1/4 lb. cheese such as Gruyere, Emmental, cheddar, or a combination, cut into 1/2-inch chunks

2-4 garlic cloves, coarsely chopped

4 slices bacon, cooked until crisp and crumbled

1/4 cup snipped chives or chopped scallions

1 Tbsp. fresh chopped thyme

About 1/3 cup cream

Pinch of nutmeg

Preheat oven to 350. Line a baking sheet with parchment, silicone, or use a Dutch oven that will fit the pumpkin. Carve out a lid from the pumpkin (carving at a 45 degree angle makes it easy to remove). Scrape stringy bits and seeds out and season the inside with plenty of salt and pepper. 

Combine bread, cheeses, garlic, bacon, and herbs together in a bowl. Season with pepper (the cheese and bacon may provide enough salt), and stuff into pumpkin. You may have too much or you may need to make more stuffing. Stir cream with nutmeg and a bit more salt and pepper. Pour over bread mixture in pumpkin. You want it to be moist, but not swimming in cream.

Put cap back on and bake for approximately two hours, checking after 90 minutes. The insides should be bubbling, and the pumpkin should be easy to pierce with a sharp knife. Remove the cap for the last 20 minutes of baking to reduce moisture from the pumpkin and brown the top a bit.

To serve, you can either scoop out the filling with bits of the side of pumpkin or mix it up together inside the pumpkin and serve that way. Serve with a salad for a hearty fall or winter meal.


Mark Bittman’s Penne With Pumpkin or Squash

This recipe is from Mark Bittman’s “The Best Recipes in the World” cookbook. You can make this with cheese pumpkin or peeled butternut squash. It is similar to the Italian ravioli “pasta con zucca” but easier.

Serves four to six. 

1 lb. peeled and seeded pumpkin

Salt and pepper

2 Tbsp. butter or olive oil

1 lb. penne or other cut pasta

1/2 tsp. red pepper flakes, or to taste

1/8 tsp. grated nutmeg or to taste

1 tsp. sugar, optional

1/2 cup grated Parmesan cheese


Cut pumpkin or squash into chunks and place in food processor. Pulse until grated. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil for pasta.

In a large skillet over medium heat, add butter, melt, then add squash/pumpkin salt and pepper and about half a cup of water. Cook, stirring occasionally, for about 10 to 15 minutes, adding a bit more water as necessary, until pumpkin breaks down. Begin cooking pasta at this point. While it cooks, season squash/pumpkin, with red pepper, nutmeg, sugar if necessary, and additional salt and pepper, if desired.

When pasta is tender, scoop out about half a cup of the cooking water and set aside. Drain pasta. Toss pasta in skillet with the squash/pumpkin, adding the reserved water. Taste and add more of any of the seasonings you like, then toss with the Parmesan and serve.