WHAT’S COOKING?

Pumpkins Can Put a Grin on Our Faces, Too

Source: Pond Hill Farm in Michigan

One of the high points of the harvest season is the festivities focused on "The Great Pumpkin." Faces are carved or painted on this member of the squash family and costumed trick-or-treaters make their way by Jack-O-Lantern on Halloween night. However, what's inside the pumpkin seldom makes it much farther than the traditional pumpkin pie. Here are two additions to the seasonal recipe repertoire worth considering :

PUMPKIN PASTA
Place the following ingredients into a pasta serving bowl and bring to room temperature : 1 large finely chopped garlic toe, 1/4 teaspoon of crushed red pepper flakes, 1/4 cup of cooked pumpkin (or canned), 1/2 cup of butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt, pepper to taste, 1/8 teaspoon of fresh grated nutmeg, 1/4 cup of fresh grated parmesan cheese and 1/2 cup of fresh basil leaves, or coarsely chopped parsley.

Cook up 16 ounces of pasta "Bow Ties" and drain. Then toss the pasta with the above. Serves 4 to 6.

PUMPKIN SOUP
Chop coarsely the following ingredients and place them in a large pot : 4 small peeled tomatoes, 2 medium onions, 2 medium carrots, 1 green pepper, 2 teaspoons of minced chives, 4 teaspoons of minced parsley, 3 pints of chicken stock, 1 teaspoon of dill weed, 1 teaspoon of powdered cinnamon, 1 teaspoon of powdered ginger, 1 teaspoon of powdered nutmeg, 2 bay leaves, 1 teaspoon of salt, 1 1/2 teaspoon of pepper. Bring to a boil and then simmer until soft (approximately 30 minutes).

Next, remove the bay leaves. Then mix in 32 ounces of cooked pumpkin (or canned) and heat to boiling. Just before serving, stir in 4 tablespoons of Barbados rum. Blend the above mixture if you prefer a smoother texture and use milk to thin as desired. Serves 8 to 12.

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This story was published on October 2, 2002.