Pumpkin Spiced Blog Post

The following post was written by my mom, WWW and includes a few additional recipes from years' past which, you should totally try because they're pumpkin and... well... it's November O'Clock. 
Pumpkin Spiced Pasta Sauce.

Last week, I once again bought a fairy tale pumpkin. The flavor of one of these sweet and tasty large squashes is so much better than canned pumpkin, and you can freeze the abundance of cooked flesh for pies, cookies, cakes, soups, and other favorite pumpkin recipes. (Look for the darker brown fairy tale pumpkins for optimal flavor.)
To roast, spit in half (through the equator), seed it, lay it cut size down on two parchment paper lined baking dishes, and roast at 350 for a little over an hour.
Then let it cool, scoop the flesh into a strainer, drain the excess liquid off, and freeze in zip-lock bags for later use.

I love using fairy tale pumpkin in any recipe calling for winter squash as they are extra delicious. Yesterday after I roasted my pumpkin, I experimented around and made pumpkin pasta sauce. This was a huge hit with Larry (and a easy and quick recipe)! If you like canned pumpkin, you can substitute for the fresh pumpkin and make this a very quick dinner!

Pumpkin Pasta Sauce 

3 cups cooked pumpkin (about 1 ½ pounds of pumpkin, roasted, peeled, and drained)
¾ cup mascarpone
½ cup Pecorino Romano or Parmesan cheese, grated (plus more for serving)
1 teaspoon Better Than Bouillon vegetable base
½ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg (or to taste)
salt and pepper (to taste)
2 T chopped fresh sage
1 lb mushrooms (I used a combo of baby bella and shitake)
3 T butter Toasted pumpkin seeds
1 lb pasta

Cook the pumpkin, cut side down, at 350 on parchment lined baking dish until tender (about an hour).
Cool. Scrape pulp away from skin and let drain until water stops draining from it. Combine pumpkin, mascarpone, cheese, bouillon, and nutmeg in food processor and process until smooth.
Slice mushrooms and brown in butter with sage. Combine mushrooms and sauce.
Season to taste with salt and pepper. Toss with pasta of your choice (orecchiette or penne work nicely). Sprinkle generously with grated cheese and toasted pumpkin seeds.


African Peanut Soup 
(from Emilee Gettle’s The Baker Creek Vegan Cookbook)

2 T coconut oil
1 large onion, chopped
1 lb (2 ½ cups)  Beauregard sweet potatoes, butternut squash, or pumpkin (preferably fairytale)
4 cloves garlic, chopped
1 tablespoon minced ginger
½ teaspoon chili flakes
4 cups vegetable stock
1 (14.5-ounce0 can diced tomatoes in juice
¾ cup creamy natural-style peanut butter (unsalted)
1 t salt (may not need if your broth has salt in it)
¼ cup chopped toasted peanuts
Chopped cilantro leaves

Heat oil in a medium saucepan over medium-high heat.  Add onions and sweet potatoes or squash and cook until onions are translucent and sweet potatoes or squash begins to soften, 5-6 minutes.  
Add garlic, ginger, and chili flakes, and cook, stirring, an additional 3 to 4 minutes.  
Add vegetable stock, tomatoes, peanut butter, and salt; bring to a boil, reduce heat, and cook until vegetables are tender, an additional 10-20 minutes.  
Remove from heat and cool slightly, then puree in batches in the blender (or use an immersion blender).  
Divide among bowls and garnish with peanuts and cilantro. 
Note:  For anyone allergic to peanuts, you could substitute tahini (and a little cumin) for the peanut butter and, although it wouldn’t have the same flavor, I am sure it would also be delicious!

Pumpkin Enchiladas with Mole Sauce
(I used the mole sauce recipe from February 1998’s Bon Appetit’s Chicken and Green Olive Enchiladas and then made up my own recipe for the pumpkin filling.)
8 tablespoons (about) olive oil
1 cups finely chopped onions
3 tablespoons chopped garlic
1 teaspoon dried oregano
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
5 tablespoons hot Mexican-style chili powder (or a milder chili powder if you wish)
3 tablespoons all purpose flour
1/2 ounce semisweet chocolate

3-4 cups cooked pumpkin, roasted, peeled, mashed and drained in a sieve
1 ear fresh corn on the cob, kernels removed, or 1 cup frozen corn
¾ cup cooked black beans
4 T fresh cilantro

16 5- to 6-inch corn tortillas
1 pound Monterey Jack cheese, coarsely grated (about 4 1/2 cups)

Heat 3 tablespoons oil in large saucepan over medium-low heat. Add onion, garlic, oregano, cumin and cinnamon.
Cover. Cook until onion is almost tender, stirring occasionally, about 10 minutes. Mix in chili powder and flour; stir 3 minutes.

Gradually whisk in 4 1/2 cups broth. Increase heat to medium-high. Boil until reduced to 3 cups, stirring occasionally, about 35 minutes.
Remove from heat. Whisk in chocolate; season with salt and pepper. Cool.
Roasted pumpkin
Peel and mash roasted pumpkin with a potato masher.
Put in a sieve and mash some more.
Let sit to drain out excess water. When drained, add corn, beans and chopped cilantro. Mix well.
Heat 3 tablespoon oil in medium skillet over medium heat. Add 1 tortilla and cook until just pliable, about 20 seconds per side.
Transfer to paper-towel-lined baking sheet. Repeat with remaining tortillas, adding oil as needed.

Spread 1/3 cup sauce in each of two 13 x 9 x 2-inch glass baking dishes. Lay tortilla in sauce. Spoon 3 T cheese on each tortilla. Add ¼ cup of pumpkin mix and a little sauce on top. Roll up tortillas.
Arrange seam side down in prepared dishes. Repeat with remaining tortillas. (Can be made 1 day ahead. Cover sauce and enchiladas separately; chill.)

Preheat oven to 375°F. Top enchiladas with remaining sauce, then sprinkle with remaining cheese.
Cover with foil; bake 20 minutes (30 minutes if chilled). Remove foil and bake until sauce bubbles, about 10 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes.... and SERVE!

Coconut Walnut Pumpkin Bread

3 ½ cups four
2 cups brown sugar (I put ½ cups because this pumpkin is so sweet)
½ cup sugar
2 tsp baking soda
1 ½ tsp salt
1 tsp nutmeg
1 ½ tsp
2 cups pumpkin puree
1 cup vegetable oil
2/3 cup milk or coconut milk
4 large eggs
1 ¼ cups sweetened flaked coconut
1 cup toasted walnuts, chopped

Preheat oven to 350. Butter and dust with flour two 8”x4” loaf pans. Sift into a large bowl the flour, brown sugar, sugar, baking soda, salt, nutmeg and cinnamon. (note…I didn’t sift…I just mixed well with a fork). In a separate bowl, whisk together pumpkin puree, oil, milk and eggs. Stir pumpkin mixture into dry ingredients, mixing only to combine. Fold in coconut and walnuts. Divide batter between the two prepared pans. Bake at 350 until top of bread springs back when pressed gently and a tester inserted in bread’s center comes out clean (50 minutes- 1 hour). Allow bread to cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before turning out of pans. Allow bread to cool completely on a wire rack.

Gnocchi di Zucca (Pumpkin dumplings)
2 cups pumpkin puree (canned or fresh)
2 cups flour
1 ½ cups parmesan cheese
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon nutmeg
1/3 cup butter
½ pound mushrooms
10-15 sage leaves, chopped
If you use a fresh pumpkin, cut a small sugar pumpkin in half and bake, flesh side down, for about 30-40 minutes at 350 or until soft. Scrape out pumpkin and put in a colander to drain. When cool and drained, mash until smooth.
Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Meanwhile, mix together salt, nutmeg, and 1½ cups flour.

Pour onto large board.
Make a well in the middle of the flour and place pumpkin and Parmesan cheese in the well. Knead the flour gently into the pumpkin just until mixed. It should still be a little sticky (if too sticky, add a little more flour).
Cut the dough into six pieces. Using one piece at a time, make a “snake” from the dough, rolling it in a little flour.
Cut into ½ inch pieces and drop the pieces into the boiling water. They will fall to the bottom of the pan and then pop up to the surface. When they rise to the surface, remove them with a skimming ladle.
Put in a dish and repeat until all the gnocchi are made.

Brown mushrooms and sage in butter in a large pan. Add gnocchi to pan and heat through.
Top with freshly grated Parmesan cheese and serve!
This dish reheats beautifully if there are leftovers (or if you want to cook it the day before!) Refrigerate gnocchi mixed with the sauce and the next day, cover and warm at 250 until heated through.