Four pumpkin recipes for Halloween

Camilla Stephens’ bonfire pumpkin pie with harissa.

Bonfire pumpkin pie with harissa (pictured above)

Prep 20 min
Cook 1 hr
Serves 8

For the tomato sauce
2 tbsp olive oil
2 red onions
, chopped
2 garlic cloves, chopped
½ tsp fennel seeds
1 tsp cumin seeds
2 tsp ground coriander
2 x 400g tins chopped tomatoes
Pinch of salt
1 tbsp soft brown sugar

1 small pumpkin or 1 medium butternut squash, peeled and deseeded
3 large parsnips, scrubbed and trimmed
2 red peppers, deseeded
1 red onion, cut into wedges
2–3 tbsp harissa
2 tbsp olive oil
Salt and black pepper

1 small bunch fresh coriander, leaves chopped
50g unsalted butter
½ tsp smoked paprika, plus extra for sprinkling
6 sheets filo pastry

For the yoghurt dip
250ml full-fat yoghurt
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 small bunch fresh mint, leaves roughly chopped
1 squeeze lemon juice

First make the tomato sauce. Heat the oil in a large pan over a gentle heat, add the onions and cook them for five minutes to soften. Add the garlic and spices and cook, stirring, for two minutes. Add the tomatoes, salt and sugar. Stir well and simmer gently, uncovered, for about 30 minutes, or until slightly syrupy in consistency.

Heat the oven to 200C/390F/gas 6. Cut the pumpkin or squash, parsnips and peppers into 3cm chunks and put into a large bowl with the onion wedges. Add the harissa, oil and a teaspoon of salt and mix well. Spread evenly over a large deep-sided roasting tin and put in the oven for 30 minutes.

Remove the roasted vegetables from the oven and stir in the spiced tomato sauce. Add the chopped coriander and 100ml water.

Melt the butter with the paprika in a small pan over a medium heat. Brush a sheet of filo with the paprika butter and lay it over the roasted vegetables. Brush the remaining sheets of filo with the butter, loosely scrunch them up and put them on top of the first piece of filo. Brush any remaining butter over the top and sprinkle with extra paprika. Bake for 25–30 minutes, until the filo is golden and crisp and the filling is piping hot.

Mix the yoghurt in a bowl with the garlic, mint and lemon juice. Season and serve alongside the pie.

  • From the Higgidy Cookbook, by Camilla Stephens (Quercus)

Pumpkin gnocchi

Anna Del Conte’s pumpkin gnocchi

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Anna Del Conte’s pumpkin gnocchi.

Butternut or kabocha squash mixed with sweet potatoes comes close to the spicy sweetness and moist texture of a northern Italian pumpkin. These gnocchi are a speciality of Veneto and southern Lombardy. The cinnamon dressing is a classic from the Veneto, while the sage dressing is mostly used in Lombardy.

I find it easiest to make these gnocchi with a piping bag and a plain, large nozzle, but you may prefer to make them the more traditional way, shaping them into small balls, using floured hands.

Prep 20 min
Cook 1 hr 15 min
Serves 4–5

1 tbsp vegetable oil
500g butternut or kabocha squash
500g sweet potatoes
200g flour
2 tsp baking powder
Salt
2 eggs
4 tbsp grated parmesan
1 pinch nutmeg

Option 1: cinnamon dressing
75g
unsalted butter
5 tbsp grated parmesan
1 tbsp sugar
1 tsp ground cinnamon

Option 2: sage dressing
75g unsalted butter
6 sage leaves, snipped
10 tbsp grated parmesan

Heat the oven to 180C/ 350F/gas 4. Line a baking tray with foil and brush with oil. Cut the squash in half, scoop out the seeds and fibres, and put the squash,it cut side down, on the foil. Pierce the sweet potatoes with a skewer and put them on the foil with the squash. Bake both vegetables for about an hour, until they can be pierced easily with a fork.

Peel the sweet potatoes, scoop out the flesh from the squash, and puree both through a food mill or a potato ricer intoa bowl. Mix in most of the flour, baking powder and a good pinch of salt, then break in the eggs. Mix well to incorporate, adding a little more flour if necessary until you can gather the dough into a ball, then add the parmesan, nutmeg and salt to taste. If you have time, put the mixture in the fridge for 30 minutes; it is easier to shape when cold.

Bring a large saucepan of salted water to a boil. To pipe the gnocchi, fill a piping bag with the squash mixture and hold it over the saucepan, squeezing it with one hand and cutting the mixture with the other as it comes out of the nozzle. Cut short shapes about 2cm long, letting them drop straight into the simmering water. In three batches, cook for one to two minutes after they have risen to the surface of the water. Lift out with a slotted spoon and put in a large, shallow ovenproof dish. Spoon a little dressing over each batch and keep the dish warm in a low oven.

If you go for the cinnamon dressing, melt the butter in a bain-marie, then pour over the gnocchi and sprinkle with the parmesan, sugar and cinnamon. For the sage dressing, melt the butter, add sage leaves and let the butterave to melt and begin to foam. Spoon over the gnocchi and sprinkle with the parmesan.

  • From Anna Del Conte’s Vegetables all’Italiana (Pavilion)

Pumpkin soup with cream, croutons and gruyere

Rowley Leigh’s pumpkin soup with cream, croutons and gruyere

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Rowley Leigh’s pumpkin soup with cream, croutons and gruyere.

Prep 20 min
Cook 2 hr
Serves 8-10

1 large pumpkin (2–3kg)
½ tsp salt
1 tsp white pepper
1 tsp ground ginger
¼ tsp grated nutmeg
100g gruyere, grated
6 slices white bread, cut into cubes and fried in butter
200ml single cream

Heat the oven to 200C/400F/gas 6. Cut a circle of 5–7cm radius around the stem at top of the pumpkin to form a lid. Lift this out and scrape out all the seeds from the inside with a spoon. Season the

inside with salt, pepper, ginger and nutmeg. Add one-third each of the cheese, croutons and cream. Continue with two more layers. Hold back a handful of croutons for garnish. Replace the lid, wrap the pumpkin in foil, put in an ovenproof dish and bake for two hours.

Remove the pumpkin from the oven and leave to stand, still wrapped, for 10 minutes. Unwrap and lift off the lid. Using a spoon, carefully ease the soft flesh away from the walls so that it mixes with the cream and cheese mixture. If you have a handheld blender, liquidise the soup inside the shell to a smooth puree. If not, whisk the ingredients together lightly to produce a more rustic and homespun style of soup. In either event, take the whole pumpkin to the table, garnished with croutons, and ladle the soup into bowls.

  • From A Long and Messy Business by Rowley Leigh (Unbound)

Pumpkin, cavolo nero and gorgonzola tart

Annie Rigg’s pumpkin, cavolo nero and gorgonzola tart

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Annie Rigg’s pumpkin, cavolo nero and gorgonzola tart.

This is essentially a savoury shortcrust pastry with a few additions – a handful of grated parmesan and some finely chopped herbs for a little extra jazz. You can play around with the herbs, adding thyme or oregano if that’s your preference or what you have to hand.Here’s a deeply savoury tart filled with caramelised roasted pumpkin, bitter greens, salty blue cheese, squidges of roast garlic and hits of warm espelette pepper. If you can’t get hold of espelette pepper you could use dried chilli flakes, a pinch of smoked paprika or a drizzle of harissa. Whichever, you’ve got yourself a tasty lunch. If you can’t get hold of espelette pepper you could use dried chilli flakes, a pinch of smoked paprika or a drizzle of harissa.

Prep 25 min
Chill 1 hr 20 min
Cook 1 hr 10 min
Serves 6-8

For the parmesan pastry
250g plain flour

Salt and black pepper
125g unsalted butter, chilled and diced
50g parmesan, grated
4 tbsp ice-cold water
1 tsp cider vinegar

For the filling
700g peeled pumpkin
2 tbsp olive oil
4 garlic cloves, unpeeled
100g cavolo nero
4 eggs
350g ricotta
50g parmesan, grated
100g gorgonzola, broken into pieces
1 tbsp pumpkin seeds
Chilli flakes

Prepare the parmesan pastry. Put the flour into a bowl and season. Add the butter and, using your hands, rub it into the flour, until there are only small flecks remaining. Add the parmesan and mix in. Make a well in the middle, add the water and vinegar and combine until the pastry comes together in a dough. Gather into a ball, flatten into a disc, wrap in clingfilm and chill for at least an hour, until needed.

Heat the oven to 190C/375F/gas 5. Cut the pumpkin into thick slices, tip into a roasting tray, add the garlic, toss with the oil and season well. Roast on the middle shelf of the oven for about 30 minutes, until tender and just starting to caramelise at the edges. Leave to cool.

Blanch the cavolo nero in boiling, salted water for 30 seconds. Drain, cool under cold running water and pat dry on kitchen paper.

Roll out the pastry on a floured surface so that it is 10cm wider than the tart tin. Line the tin, pressing the pastry into the corners, leaving the excess hanging over the edges, and chill for 20 minutes while you prepare the filling.

Heat a baking tray on the middle shelf of the oven. Whisk together the eggs, ricotta and parmesan. Season well and pour the mixture into the pastry case. Arrange the pumpkin wedges and cavolo nero on top, squeeze the roast garlic from its skin and dot the garlic puree around the veggies. Crumble the gorgonzola and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds and chilli flakes over. for 30–35 minutes, until the pastry is crisp and the filling is set and golden. Using a serrated knife, trim the excess pastry from the tart, and serve hot, warm or at room temperature.

  • From Pies and Tarts by Annie Rigg (Quadrille)

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