Want to know what to do with all those Halloween pumpkins? Well here’s two recipes with an Italian twist to make the most of all that Autumn goodness!
Pumpkin and Chestnut Bellini
This superb idea from the fabulous Duck & Waffle is a classy cocktail treat for that cool Halloween night.
¼ pumpkin, peeled, chopped and put through a juicer (this will yield roughly 250ml of pumpkin juice, or enough for six cocktails)
Grated nutmeg, to taste
30g maple syrup
Chestnut liqueur (Briottet or similar)
Add nutmeg to the pumpkin juice, then pass it through a coffee filter or tea cloth. Stir in the maple syrup, decant into a bottle or jar and refrigerate – it will keep for up to three days.
For each serving, put 40ml pumpkin mix, 20ml chestnut liqueur and 75ml Prosecco in a cocktail tin, and stir gently – not too hard, else the Prosecco will bubble up and over the rim! Pour into a champagne flute and serve at once.
Pumpkin & Sage Rotolo
This seasonal recipe is an old family pasta treat that makes the most of the great pumpkin goodness around at this time of year.
1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, cut into 2cm cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 teaspoon fennel seeds
1/2 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
350g fresh ricotta
1/4 cup grated Parmesan, plus shaved Parmesan to serve
1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
4 fresh lasagne sheets (15cm x 30cm), homemade or shop bought
1 egg, lightly beaten
80g unsalted butter
1 bunch of sage leaves
Preheat the oven to 220°C. Spread pumpkin on a baking tray, drizzle with oil, season and sprinkle with fennel seeds and chilli. Cover with a layer of baking paper and foil, and roast for 40 minutes until very soft. Transfer the pumpkin to a sieve over a bowl, then leave to drain for 30 minutes. Discard the liquid, then push the pumpkin through the sieve. Add the ricotta, Parmesan and nutmeg, then mix until smooth and well combined.
If you are making your lasagne sheets, mix 400 g of good-quality Tipo 00 flour with 75 g fine semolina in a bowl, make a well in the bottom and add 12 large free-range egg yolks plus 2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil and 4 tablespoons cold water. Use a fork to bring the ingredients together, then knead on a floured surface for around 4 minutes until the dough is silky and elastic. Wrap the dough in clingfilm and let it relax for 30 mins. Then roll the sheets out to about 2mm with a pasta machine or rolling pin.
Place a large, damp tea towel on a work bench. Brush the edges of lasagne sheets with beaten egg, then arrange them on the towel, overlapping slightly, to form a 30cm x 60cm rectangle.
Spoon the pumpkin filling along 1 long side. Using the towel as a guide, carefully roll the pasta from 1 long side (like a Swiss roll). Enclose the roll in the towel and secure the ends with string. Place the parcel in a deep roasting pan or a fish kettle. Pour in enough boiling water to submerge the rotolo. Cover and simmer over a medium low heat for 25 minutes until it is al dente. Carefully remove the rotolo to a board and stand for 10 minutes while you fry the sage.
Melt the butter in a pan over medium heat and cook for 3 minutes until golden brown. Add the sage leaves and stir for 30 seconds until crisp.
Carefully unwrap the rotolo and cut it into 3.5cm rounds. Serve the slices with a spoonful of the sage and butter and top with shaved Parmesan.