3 Tasty Ways to Cook With Pumpkin This Autumn

Once you start incorporating pumpkin into your cooking, you won't be able to stop - it will feel like it's cast a spell on you. Here are the pumpkin recipes I am enjoying this autumn!

1. Addictive snack - roasted pumpkin seeds

I have three words: roasted pumpkin seeds. Before you scroll to the next recipe . . . please consider! They’re salty, and crunchy, and festive; what more could you want? I should tell you though, retrieving the seeds is kind of messy, but you can use the hollowed out pumpkin to make a Jack-o'-lantern, so it’s worth it. 

Pumpkin Seeds Alyssa Robertson Case / Spoon You will need:

  • A carving pumpkin - medium to large sized

  • Olive oil - about 2 tablespoons (as much as you’ll need to coat the seeds)

  • Salt - to taste

  • Your favorite spices!

 

Directions: 

The first thing you will need to do is find yourself a nice carving pumpkin, as these will give you the largest seeds. Next, open the pumpkin by either cutting it in half, or by making a circular incision on the top of the pumpkin like a wee hat (you will want to do the latter if you will carve the pumpkin later). 

Once, you’ve gained access to the interior of the pumpkin, begin scooping out the stringy pulp. You can do this with your hands or a large spoon! Right away you will begin pulling out the seeds of the pumpkin. Try your best to separate the seeds from the pulp and place them in a good seized strainer. After you’ve collected all or enough of the seeds, rinse them under water and try your best to remove any leftover pulp. Next, get rid of excess water - but it’s okay if the seeds are damp.

Grab a baking sheet and lay down some wax paper. Then, evenly spread out the pumpkin seeds onto the baking sheet. Lightly drizzle oil (maybe a tablespoon or two depending on your yield of seeds) over the seeds. Now, with your favorite combination of spices (I prefer just to use salt, or rosemary if I’m feeling fancy), sprinkle to taste! Mix it all together so there is a nice coating of oil and your preferred spices covering the seeds. 

Spread the seeds evenly on the sheet once more and pop the baking sheet into a 200°C (400°F) oven, until they are golden brown. Once they are nicely toasted, wait for them to cool a bit, then you are ready to grab a bowl and enjoy this crunchy autumn snack. 

Pro tip: Instead of curling up with a bowl of popcorn, try curling up with a bowl of roasted pumpkin seeds!

Click here for a similar recipe provided by Simply Recipes.

 

2. Gourmet dish - pasta and pumpkin

I had never considered having pasta with a pumpkin sauce until I met my boyfriend. His mother made us this next recipe last November, and it was bursting with flavour. This dish is such an underrated option and perfect for the colder months. 

Gif of Michelle from Full House eating a plate of spaghetti Giphy You will need: 

  • Raw pumpkin - 800 grams

  • Extra virgin olive oil - 100 grams (approx ½ cup)

  • Garlic (red peel) - 2 cloves

  • Pasta of choice - 300 grams 

  • Salt, chili flakes, grated parmesan cheese, and fresh parsley - all to taste

 

Directions: 

Begin by dicing 800 grams of pumpkin into small cubes. In a saucepan, cook the garlic in the oil until it is golden. Once the garlic is golden, remove just the garlic and add the diced pumpkin to the saucepan. Sprinkle some chili flakes and salt to taste. Mix and add two ladles of water to the saucepan. 

Cover and bring to a boil. Continue cooking and remember to stir occasionally. Keep cooking until the pumpkin has almost created a cream (it is okay if it is a bit chunky). 

In a separate pan, boil enough water to cook your pasta. Once boiling, slightly salt the water and add your pasta. When the pasta is half cooked (about 5 minutes later), add the pasta to the cooking pumpkin. Mix the pasta in with the pumpkin and, if necessary to cover the pasta, add water. 

Bring this “soup” to a boil and make sure the pasta is completely cooked. It should appear that you’ve lost some water and that is okay - some will be absorbed by the cooking pasta and some will evaporate. 

Once the pasta is cooked, turn off the heat and let the meal rest. When ready to serve, top with grated parmesan cheese and lots of fresh parsley. Buon Appetito!

Pro tip: Make sure you have some nice bread to eat along with your meal like the Italians do! 

The recipe I have is in Italian, but feel free to check it out here!

 

3. Savory and sweet (trick or) treat - pumpkin bread

My favorite thing to make with pumpkin is definitely pumpkin bread. I have tried so many recipes but the greatest I have found is by Jen Segal from Once Upon a Chef. The bread comes out perfect in my opinion; sweet, savory, moist and exploding with pumpkin spices. Her recipe makes two loaves of bread, but you can half the recipe to make one!

Banana Bread Helena Lin / Spoon You will need: 

  • All purpose flour - 2 cups leveled

  • Salt - 1/2 teaspoon

  • Baking soda- 1 teaspoon

  • Baking powder - 1/2 teaspoon

  • Ground cloves - 1 teaspoon

  • Ground cinnamon - 1 teaspoon

  • Ground nutmeg - 1 teaspoon

  • Unsalted butter, softened - 1-1/2 sticks (3/4 cup)

  • Sugar - 2 cups

  • Eggs (large) - 2

  • Pumpkin puree (100% pure pumpkin) - 1 15-oz can → recently I have been able to find cans of pumpkin puree at Sainsbury’s Local. If you don't manage to find any, you can order some off of Amazon.

** Side note: if you cannot find individual ground clove, cinnamon, and nutmeg, or you just don’t feel it is worth it to buy them, 3 teaspoons of Allspice, or “ground mixed spice” at Sainsbury’s / Tesco works great! **

 

Directions: 

"Preheat the oven to 325°F (this is approx. 160°C) and set an oven rack in the middle position. Generously grease two 8 x 4-inch loaf pans with butter and dust with flour (alternatively, use a baking spray with flour in it . . .).

In a medium bowl, combine the flour, salt, baking soda, baking powder, cloves, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Whisk until well combined; set aside.

In a large bowl of an electric mixer, beat the butter and sugar on medium speed until just blended. Add the eggs one at a time, beating well after each addition. Continue beating until very light and fluffy, for a few minutes. Beat in the pumpkin. The mixture might look grainy and curdled at this point - that's okay.

Add the flour mixture and mix on low speed until combined.

Turn the batter into the prepared pans, dividing evenly, and bake for 65 – 75 minutes, or until a cake tester inserted into the center comes out clean. Let the loaves cool in the pans for about 10 minutes, then turn out onto a wire rack to cool completely."

Pro tip: Microwave a slice of pumpkin bread for 30 seconds, then spread some butter for the perfect breakfast or afternoon tea. 

Read Jen Segal’s entire recipe here.

 

red haired witch saying I'll put a spell on you Walt Disney Pictures / Giphy