Pumpkin gnocchi with parmesan cheese, butter and chives.


If you are planning to carve out a pumpkin, ready to spook your visitors and the kids playing trick or treat on your doorstep over Halloween, it’s time to put all that delicious, leftover flesh to good use in anything from spicy curries, soups, risotto and gnocchi to a classic all-American pumpkin pie.

Pumpkins have a wonderful flavour and a smooth, silky texture that lends itself to so many interesting dishes both sweet and savoury and they are popular the world over. The Americans throw Pumpkin into pies at Thanksgiving; the Italians puree them for risottos and home-made Gnocchi, while the Mexicans cook it down with brown sugar for a breakfast treat and the French prefer it in soups, gratin dishes, tarts and in bread. In the Middle East, pumpkin is often stuffed with meat, rice and spices, and in Argentina, meat is often cooked in hollowed-out pumpkins for a thick, hearty stew. Here in Mallorca and all over Spain we turn it into “Cabell d’angel” (Angels hair); it’s a kind of pumpkin jam flavoured with cinnamon and lemon peel and it’s often used as a filling for pastries and ensaimada.

Warm spices have a particular affinity with pumpkin, such as cinnamon, nutmeg and ginger. Herbs such as sage and rosemary also make great marriages. Pumpkin flesh is high in fibre and beta-carotene and the seeds are at least as nutritious. In Austria they grow a rare species that has skinless seeds made into pumpkin seed oil, renowned the world over for its sweet, nutty flavour. This dark green oil is particularly good in vinaigrette made with cider vinegar, drizzled on salads and made into a pesto, using pumpkin seeds in place of the traditional pine nuts. So, if you are going to go to all the trouble of scooping out all that pumpkin flesh, try these simple recipes for a real, delicious autumn treat.


Ingredients: serves 6

1 small pumpkin

55g unsalted butter

2 spring onions, sliced

110g Arborio Risotto rice

600ml chicken stock

½ glass white wine

20g grated Parmesan

1tbsp pumpkin oil


1. Cut the top off the pumpkin and remove the pips from inside. Scrape out the pulp using a melon baller.

2. Bring the chicken stock and white wine to the boil and set aside.

3. Gently melt the butter in a pan and sauté the pulp and spring onions for 3-4 minutes to soften.

4. Stir in the rice and cook for three minutes.

5. Add a little hot chicken stock until the rice is just covered and continue to stir until all the liquid has been absorbed by the rice. Over a medium heat, continue to add the stock gradually and stir until all the stock has been absorbed and the rice has softened. About 15-20 minutes.

6. Add the grated Parmesan and season to taste. The risotto should be light and creamy.

7. Stir in the pumpkin oil and your risotto is ready to serve.



Ingredients: serves 6

800g pumpkin or squash

2 egg yolks

100g plain flour

10g rice flour

¼ tsp nutmeg

40g grated parmesan

50g butter

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10 sage leaves chopped


1. Heat the oven to 180C (160C fan)/350F/gas 4.

2. Peel the pumpkin squash, deseed and cut the flesh into large chunks.

3. Put these on a lightly greased baking sheet and roast, turning once or twice, for 30-35 minutes, until tender but not coloured.

4. While the squash flesh is still warm, puree pass it through a potato ricer. If the puree looks a little wet, heat a large frying pan, either lightly greased or non-stick, on a medium-high heat, add the puree and cook, stirring regularly, for about 2-4 minutes, until it looks dry and slightly darker in colour. The mixture should be dense, like a smooth mashed potato.

5. Tip the puree into a large bowl, then add the flour, rice flour, cheese, nutmeg and salt, followed by the egg yolk. Stir until you have a soft but coherent dough, it should hold together, so add a touch more flour if necessary.

6.Lightly dust a work surface with flour and dust a tray with more flour. Take a handful of the gnocchi mixture and roll it into a thick sausage about 2cm in diameter. Cut this into roughly 2cm lengths and lay them on the floured tray. Repeat with the remaining dough.

7. Poach the gnocchi in gently boiling salted water until they rise to the surface and drain well.

8. Melt the butter in a large frying pan over a medium heat, then add the drained gnocchi and cook, stirring gently and tossing, until coated in butter and lightly coloured all over.

9. Add the sage leaves, another grating of nutmeg and a little more grated parmesan. Serve immediately.


Ingredients: serves 6

500g diced pumpkin

1 medium onion, finely chopped

4tbsp. olive oil

1tbsp. hot curry powder

1litre chicken stock

100ml coconut milk

Juice of one lime

2tbsp freshly chopped coriander

Salt and pepper

1. Heat the olive oil in a large saucepan and gently sauté the onion until tender.

2. Add the curry powder and cook for a further two minutes.

3. Add the pumpkin, and then stir in the chicken stock. Simmer for about 20 minutes, until the pumpkin is tender.

4. Add the coconut milk, lime juice and season with salt and pepper.

5. Place in a liquidiser and blend to a fine puree.

6. Pass through a fine sieve, stir in the chopped coriander and serve immediately.