Halloween Special: 3 Pumpkin-based Italian Recipes

Bruschetta zucca e bufalaBruschetta con Zucca e Buffala

Bruschetta with Roasted Pumpkin and Buffalo Mozzarella

Ingredients (serves 4):

• 350 grams of pumpkin
• Fresh basil
• Extra Virgin Olive Oil
• 200 grams of buffalo mozzarella
• Bread for toasting (8 pieces)
• Salt and pepper to taste (prosciutto optional)

Procedure

Cut the pumpkin into small cubes (approx 2 cm wide) and place on a baking paper lined oven tray. Season with salt and pepper and drizzle with olive oil. Bake until soft enough that a fork cuts through. Toast your bread and then assemble your sliced buffalo mozzarella, baked pumpkin and fresh basil leaves. If you like, you can line the toasted bread with some prosciutto. Season again with a sprinkle of salt and pepper and drizzle with that golden olive oil and voila!


Risotto di zuccaRisotto di Zucca

Pumpkin risotto

Ingredients (serves 4):

• 320 g arborio rice
• 1 scallion
• 1 onion, chopped finely and slightly browned
• 1 glass dry white wine
• 5 T grated parmesan cheese
• 30 gr butter
• 6 tablespoon oil
• 800 g pumpkin
• 2 L vegetable broth

Procedure

In a saucepan brown the finely chopped scallions in olive oil then add the coarsely grated pumpkin. Allow to cook for 10 minutes on a high flame. Lower the flame, add a good pinch of salt, cover and let cook slowly for 15 minutes. In a second saucepan brown the chopped onion in the butter, add the rice and let toast for 2 minutes, stirring constantly. Add the white wine and allow it to evaporate for around 3 minutes. Begin to add the vegetable broth a little at a time. Add salt to taste and when the risotto is half cooked, after around 8 minutes, add the cooked pumpkin. You need to make sure that the pumpkin is kept hot until it is added. Continue to cook the rice, adding the broth until the rice is almost done. Turn off the flame, add the parmesan cheese and the butter, mix well, then let sit for 3 minutes before serving. You can garnish with parmesan or chives.


Crostata zucca e ricottaCrostata di Zucca e Ricotta

(Pumpkin and Ricotta Pie)

Ingredients (serves 8):

Filling:

• 1/2 cup pumpkin or squash puree
• 1/2 cup (4 ounces) ricotta cheese, drained in a fine mesh colander to eliminate excess moisture
• 1/4 cup sugar
• 2 large egg yolks
• 1/8 teaspoon pure almond extract
• Confectioners’ sugar
• 9 to 10 ounces Tender Tart Dough

Tender Tart Dough:

• 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter
• 2 cups unbleached flour
• 1/4 cup sugar
• Pinch fine sea salt
• 1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon ice water

Procedure

Preheat oven to 450ºF. Using rubber spatula, stir first 5 ingredients in large bowl until smooth. Roll out dough on lightly floured work surface to 11-inch round (recipe for tart dough below). Transfer dough to rimmed baking sheet. Spoon filling atop dough, leaving 2-inch border. Fold dough border over filling to form 7-inch round, pleating loosely and pinching to seal any cracks in dough. Bake until filling is just set and dough is golden, about 20 minutes. Cool on rack 10 minutes. Dust with confectioners’ sugar. Serve while still warm and aromatic.

For the tart dough. Cut the butter into 1/2-inch cubes. Set aside in the coldest part of the refrigerator for at least 10 minutes while you set up the food processor and gather together the dry ingredients. Place the flour, sugar, and salt in the bowl of a food processor fitted with the steel blade. Pulse a few times to combine. Add the butter, tossing quickly with your fingers to coat each cube with flour, taking care not to touch the blade. This prevents the butter cubes from adhering together and helps them break apart and combine more evenly with the flour. Pulse 15-20 times, or until the butter particles are the size of small peas. With the motor running, add the ice water all at once through the feed tube. Stop the motor immediately. Scrape down the bowl with a rubber spatula, then pulse on and off 3-4 times to distribute the moisture evenly. The dough will still be in particles, not a solid mass. Do not process further or the dough will be tough. It should just hold together when pressed between your thumb and forefinger. Dump the contents of the bowl onto a large sheet of aluminum foil. With floured hands press the loose particles together forming a solid mass of dough roughly 7-inches in diameter. Cover the dough completely and refrigerate for at least 2 hours or overnight.

 

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