Halloween is around the corner. Last year, I forced Halloween on my colleagues, by buying a pumpkin and carving it, and organized a costume contest in my office. This year, since I’ve been working so much, I may not get organized in time. We’ll see today (when my colleagues may or may not guilt me into getting organized!) when I bring in the several pounds of pumpkin seeds I toasted this weekend.
You’ve seen a million recipes for pumpkin recently, but I can’t not add mine! Last year I explored two ways to use butternut squash with my Butternut Tomato soup and Butternut Hummus, but this time I’m sticking strictly to traditional pumpkin.
Pumpkin, Pine Nuts and Pancetta Savoury Torte
I’ve decided that S needs to have his own rating system so I can correctly judge how much he likes a dish I’ve made. Any ideas? I was thinking of forks or plates? His pleasure at this dish was hard to mistake, though. He declared this to be “one of the best things you’ve ever made” (liberal translation done by me), so I guess it would automatically get 4 forks/plates. The addition of the smoked pancetta gave it that extra goodness.
500g pumpkin, roughly cubed
100g smoked pancetta, chopped (bacon or ham are good substitutes)
1 small yellow or white onion
Savoury pastry sheet (such as for a quiche)
- In a small frying pan, cook the chopped pancetta until desired texture is achieved (I like my pancetta very crunchy/well-cooked. Take off heat.
- Preheat oven to 350F (180C) Line small rectangular cake pan with parchment paper, or butter and arrange the savoury pastry dough in the pan.
- With 1 T. of the oil from the pancetta, chop the onion and saute. While the onion is cooking, roughly cube the pumpkin. When the onion starts to turn translucent, add the pumpkin chunks. Cook about 10-15, until the pumpkin will break down easily with spoon but is not mushy. Mix in pancetta until evenly distributed.
- In a separate bowl, beat the eggs with a splash of milk until frothy. Grate in a small amount of parmigiano and mix, adding fresh ground pepper.
- Spoon half of the pumpkin mix into the baking pan. Pour egg mix over, and then spoon the rest of the pumpkin mix in. Pinch the sides of the dough to create a border. Sprinkle a handful of parmigiano and then pinenuts on top, and cook in oven for about 40 minutes.
Cinnamon & Brown Sugar Spicy Pumpkin Seeds
I read an article months ago about how cinnamon and pumpkin were considered some of the most irresistible scents by men – what happens when you put both of them together?
4 cups pumpkin seeds
1/2c. brown sugar
1 t. ground hot pepper
1 egg white
Preheat oven to 375F (180-200C). Line a baking sheet with parchment paper (or aluminum foil) for easy cleanup. In a bowl, whisk the egg white with the rest of the ingredients, until it gets slightly frothy. Mix pumpkin seeds in, using a spoon to make sure all of them are covered evenly. Spread out onto the baking sheet, as thinly as possible. Bake for 15 minutes, or until they start to brown.
I didn’t spread my seeds so thinly but they came out great anyway. Keep an eye on them and taste regularly to see if done.
I also made a salty version with the egg white, some lime juice, cracked pepper and sea salt, following the same methodology. I was definitely inspired by Heidi’s Toasted Pumpkin Seeds 3 ways post.
For some more pumpkin inspiration, check out the Blog Her’s excellent roundup of pumpkin recipes.