Make a dramatic (and edible) centerpiece. Click here to learn how to roast your own pumpkin seeds.
Cheesy Pasta Stuffed Pumpkins
- 2 (4-lb) sugar pumpkins or kabocha or red kuri squash
- Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper
- 1 (4-oz) package diced pancetta
- ½ sweet onion, diced
- 3½ cups dried elbow pasta
- 1 (10-oz) box frozen spinach, thawed and squeezed dry
- ¾ cup grated Parmesan cheese
- ¼ lb grated Gruyère cheese
- 1 cup heavy cream
Preheat oven to 375°F. Cut an opening in top of each pumpkin or squash; remove and reserve tops; scrape out seeds and season insides with salt.
Cook pancetta in a medium skillet over medium-high heat until crisp, about 4 minutes. Transfer with a slotted spoon to paper towels to drain. Add onion to skillet, season with salt, and cook until softened, about 5 minutes.
Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil. Cook pasta 2 minutes less than package directs (about 8 minutes). Drain.
Combine pancetta, onion, pasta, spinach, Parmesan, and Gruyère in a bowl. Add salt and pepper. Divide pasta mixture between pumpkins, packing tightly. Pour ½ cup cream over pasta in each pumpkin. Set tops in place.
Bake pumpkins on a rimmed baking sheet until flesh is easily pierced with a knife, about 1 hour, 30 minutes. Serve pasta from pumpkins, scooping out some pumpkin flesh with each helping.
You can use just about any round winter squash for this recipe. But steer clear of the field pumpkins meant for jack-o’-lanterns: Their flesh is stringy and less tasty than other varieties.
Serves 6-8. Per serving: 380 calories, 29g carbs, 15g protein, 24g fat, 70mg cholesterol, 360mg sodium, 3g fiber