Skip to content

Posts tagged ‘pumpkin recipes’

when the pasta’s on the pumpkin

16 October 2009


scout's pumpkin ravioli

ah, fall in the Pacific Northwest. no, the frost isn’t on the pumpkin—yet. but the rain is overflowing the gutters, already laden with pine needles. the leaves of many colors are plastered on the lawn (which is blessedly green again), beaten down from heavy precipitation. our resident rabbits’ cotton tails? completely vanished. the entire warren running rampant and undetected as they blend into the drab landscape. on occasion, there’s a rare glimpse of sunshine. and i experienced one of those golden moments just the other day.

i’d been contemplating what to do with the remaining sugar pie pumpkins i’d picked up at Jones Creek Farm. the cooking-project criteria: creative. a little bit of a challenge. and, oh yeah, delicious. i dug out my recipe binders. pumpkin soup. nope. pumpkin fudge. nope. pumpkin bread. pumpkin pie. nope, nope. pumpkin cheesecake. save for Thanksgiving. pumpkin ravioli. now we’re talkin’.

i began by filling the house with the smell of baked pumpkin. nice. things were already looking up. then, i combined what i felt were the best components of four different recipes to come up with the variation you find here: a sparkling pumpkin ravioli true north. it’s delicate yet rich. with fragrant herbs and a wonderful burst of fall flavors to brighten up any soggy day.

Pumpkin-filled Ravioli with Butter, Sage and Toasted Pine Nuts

a variation based on recipes from Wolfgang Puck, Mario Batali, Giada De Laurentiis and Martha Stewart


for filling
1 small sugar pie pumpkin (about 1 pound) (or 1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree)
1 cup heavy cream
1 teaspoon fresh minced thyme leaves
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage leaves
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parrano cheese (or Parmesan cheese)
2 tablespoons butter

for basic egg pasta
(i made this with my KitchenAid stand mixer and pasta roller attachment, according to the recipe in the provided instructions. there are certainly other recipes and methods, including purchasing sheets of pasta.)
1 3/4 cups of unbleached organic flour
2 eggs
1/4 teaspoon salt
1/2 tablespoon water (this is what the KitchenAid recipe calls for; i used nearly 2 1/2 tablespoons to get the desired consistency)
1 egg beaten lightly for egg wash

for sauce
1 stick butter
2 tablespoons of the leftover pasta cooking water
1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
8 sage leaves

for topping
1/4 cup pine nuts


  1. preheat oven to 350F.
  2. remove stem from pumpkin, and cut in half.
  3. scoop out seeds. (here are a few neat ideas for toasting the seeds as snacks.)
  4. brush surface of each half with sunflower oil.
  5. cover cookie sheet with non-stick foil, and place pumpkin on the cookie sheet pulp side down.
  6. bake for about 1 hour, 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft. (Mario’s recipe says to cook the pumpkin for 30 minutes; i don’t know how the pumpkin would soften in that amount of time, but wanted to call it out.)
  7. after the pumpkin has cooled, remove pulp and transfer into a food processor.
  8. puree the pumpkin.
  9. turn the pumpkin into a medium saucepan and add heavy cream and herbs.
  10. cook over low heat for approximately 1 hour, or until the mixture is thick, and the liquid has evaporated. stir occasionally to prevent scorching. (be careful of the splatting hot pumpkin mixture, even at low heat.)
  11. remove from heat and stir in 2 tablespoons of butter, cheese and nutmeg; salt and pepper to taste; set aside to cool.
  12. make pasta sheets with your chosen methodology. it’s recommended that the sheets be rolled as thinly as possible.
  13. cut the pasta into two sheets and place on a floured surface (i dust parchment paper with flour and place the pasta sheets there).
  14. brush one of the sheets with the egg wash.
  15. using a teaspoon, place 24 equal mounds of the pumpkin mixture on the egg-washed dough, about 2 inches apart.
  16. cover the mounded dough with the second sheet of pasta, and press around the mounds of pumpkin to seal the dough together.
  17. using a sharp knife or a biscuit cutter, cut the ravioli into squares or circles.
  18. press edges together to seal. (i was paranoid of the filling coming out in the boiling water, so i actually crimped the edges with a fork.)
  19. preheat oven to 350F and toast the pine nuts until light, golden brown, about 5 minutes; set aside.
  20. bring 6 quarts of water to a boil; add some salt to the boiling water.
  21. drop ravioli in the water and cook for about 4 minutes. remove the ravioli with a slotted spoon, saving the water.
  22. while pasta cooks, melt the stick of butter in a 12- to 14-inch saute pan with high sides, until the butter begins to foam; be careful not to burn the butter.
  23. add 2 tablespoons of pasta water and balsamic vinegar to the butter and whisk to emulsify.
  24. add sage leaves and ravioli to the pan, tossing gently for about 1 minute to coat pasta with the sauce.
  25. divide ravioli among four warmed plates, and top with pine nuts; serve immediately.

premature for pumpkin? never!

6 October 2009


pumpkin bread pudding servingto most children (and retailers), the pumpkin crop serves as Halloween’s welcome-wagon representative and precursor to candy booty. due to this year’s extraordinarily warm weather, Washington state pumpkins arrived  prematurely, triggering unprecedented, mid-September Halloween excitement. my friends who are parents formulated strategies to delay trips to local pumpkin patches, or at minimum, to postpone carving, so that the orange fruits would survive until the end of October.

to be honest, Halloween has always been my least-favorite holiday. at our house, it felt like an extravaganza. no, my parents didn’t create a scary haunted house for all the neighborhood kids to frequent (thank goodness). but my mom decorated our front porch with crepe paper and other Hallmark paraphernalia, including a giant honeycomb skull that enveloped one of our lampshades. and mom would put one of those little disks at the base of the light bulb to make it flash off and on. sporting an enormous witch’s hat, she greeted everyone at the front door, oohing over their costumes and tossing handfuls of candy into their goodie bags. to preserve our pumpkins, she’d artfully paint their faces in oils, then place them on the front stoop.

painfully shy, i loathed going door to door to trick or treat. and, unlike my extroverted little sister, i didn’t like dressing up as someone (or something) other than myself. until one Halloween, when my parents felt moved to throw a party for me and a group of my friends. mom and dad transformed our basement playroom into a hip, happening party scene. mom made me a costume that matched the outfit of my Mattel Scooba-do talking doll—a scat-singing, long-black-haired beatnik. at the party, we all bobbed for apples. danced to groovy music from The Monkees. and chowed down on never-ending party snacks. even with my sister underfoot, the party rocked. and i’ll always cherish the memory.

clearly for me, the best part of the upcoming holiday is the pumpkins. you’ll find my first recipe of the season here.

an endnote: c’mon, sis – did Scooba-do or any of my other Mattel toys, like my red-headed, bubblecut Barbie, really need haircuts?

Pumpkin Bread Pudding
a variation based on a recipe from everyday FOOD


1 baguette (8 ounces), sliced 1/2 thick (i actually cut the slices into more bite-size pieces)
4 large eggs
4 cups half-and-half
2 cups fresh pumpkin puree, extracted from one good-size sugar pie pumpkin (or 1 15-ounce can of pumpkin puree)
1 teaspoon pure vanilla extract
1 cup packed light-brown sugar
2 heaping teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon ginger
1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
1/4 teaspoon salt
1 cup dried tart dried cherries or dried cranberries


  1. preheat oven to 350F.
  2. remove stem from pumpkin, and cut in half.
  3. scoop out seeds. (here are a few neat ideas for toasting the seeds as snacks.)
  4. brush surface of each half with sunflower oil.
  5. cover cookie sheet with non-stick foil, and place pumpkin on the cookie sheet pulp side down.
  6. bake for about 1 hour, 10 minutes or until the pumpkin is soft.
  7. after the pumpkin has cooled, remove pulp and transfer into a food processor.
  8. puree the pumpkin, and set aside.
  9. butter a 2-quaret shallow or 8-inch square baking dish; set aside.
  10. toast bread on baking sheet at 300F, turning occasionally, until lightly browned (20 – 25 minutes). note: instead of this approach, i just use a stale baguette.
  11. in a large bowl, whisk together eggs, half and half, pumpkin puree, vanilla, brown sugar, spices and salt.
  12. add the bread to the bowl, and cover with plastic wrap, pressing it directly onto the surface of the mixture.
  13. place a plate small enough to fit inside bowl on top of plastic wrap, then weight down with a can. this ensures the bread will soak up the custard and results in a velvety consistency.
  14. place in fridge, and let the mixture soak until saturated, about 25 minutes.
  15. if you haven’t used the oven yet, preheat to 300F.
  16. transfer mixture to prepared baking dish, spreading evenly.
  17. sprinkle the dried fruit over the mixture, allowing some to sink in.
  18. bake on a rimmed baking sheet until firm, and a toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean, 60 – 70 minutes.

serve this comforting, sweetly spiced autumn pudding warm or at room temperature, dusted with confectioners’ sugar and/or top with whipped cream. or a splash of half-and-half. of course, appropriate for breakfast, lunch or dinner.