So, the fun of Halloween is over and you’re wondering what to do with your pumpkins… Well wonder no more and get creative with these five tasty recipes.
1 small pumpkin (about 500g)
Olive oil, for roasting
2 garlic cloves, peeled
½ lemon, juiced
2 tbsp tahini paste
400g can chickpeas, drained
1 red pepper, deseeded, and sliced
1 yellow pepper, deseeded, and sliced
Mini breadsticks and pitta chips, to serve
Cut the top off the pumpkin, about two-thirds of the way up. Remove the pumpkin seeds, then scoop the flesh out of the bottom and the lid.
Heat oven to 200C/180C fan/gas 6. Cut the pumpkin flesh into pieces and put in a roasting tin with the garlic and a good glug of oil. Season, then bake for 45 mins until very tender. Leave to cool.
Tip the pumpkin into a food processor with any juices from the roasting tin and the garlic. Add the lemon juice, tahini paste and chickpeas. Season with salt and blend to a paste – add a little more oil if it’s too thick. Scoop the hummus back into the pumpkin and serve with the peppers, breadsticks and pitta chips.
Red Lentil and Pumpkin Soup
Olive oil spray
1 brown onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tsp finely grated fresh ginger
2 tsp curry powder
1kg butternut pumpkin, peeled, deseeded, cut into 1cm-pieces
175g red lentils, rinsed
1 vegetable stock cube
90g low-fat natural yoghurt
Fresh coriander leaves, to serve
Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat. Spray with olive oil spray. Add the onion and cook, for 5 minutes or until soft. Add the garlic, ginger and curry powder and cook, stirring, for 1 minute or until aromatic.
Add the pumpkin, lentils, water and stock cube. Bring to the boil. Reduce heat to low. Simmer, partially covered, for 15-20 minutes or until the pumpkin and lentils are soft. Set aside to cool.
Ladle half the lentil mixture into the jug of a blender and blend until smooth. Transfer to a clean saucepan. Repeat with the remaining lentil mixture.
Place the soup over medium heat and cook, stirring, for 3 minutes or until heated through. Season with pepper. Ladle among serving bowls. Top with the yoghurt and coriander to serve.
For the pastry
200g plain flour
1 tsp ground cinnamon (optional)
2 tbsp icing sugar
For the filling
180g (6oz) caster sugar
1 ½ tsp ground cinnamon
½ tsp ground ginger
½ tsp mixed spice
425g solid pumpkin or 450g diced pumpkin, cooked and sieved
200ml double cream
For the topping
200ml double cream
1 orange, zested
Heat the oven to fan 200C/ 220C/ gas 7.
To make the pastry, mix together the flour and the cinnamon, if using. Rub in the butter and stir in the icing sugar. Add enough water (about 7 tsp) to mix to a stiff dough.
Roll out the pastry until it is large enough to line a 23cm x 23cm x 5cm deep pie dish. Pinch the edge of the pastry. Roll out any trimmings and, using a small cutter, stamp out leaf shapes. Attach to the rim of the pastry using a little water. Chill for 15 minutes.
Line the pastry with foil and fill with baking beans. Bake blind for 8 minutes. Remove the foil and beans and return to the oven for 2-3 minutes.
Reduce the oven temperature to gas 3, 150°C, fan 130°C. To make the filling, put the pumpkin and all other filling ingredients in a bowl and mix well. Pour into the pastry case and bake in the oven for about 1 hour until the filling is set. Remove and leave to cool.
To serve, whisk the cream until thick. Spoon onto the pie and scatter over the orange zest
Creamy Pumpkin Pasta
2 tbsp olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
2 garlic cloves, crushed
500g pumpkin or squash, peeled and cut into roughly 3cm cubes
50-100ml whole milk
2 tbsp tomato purée
2 tbsp mascarpone
350g short pasta (rigatoni or penne work well)
40g grated parmesan or vegetarian alternative, plus extra to serve
Heat the oil in a large, shallow, flameproof casserole or frying pan over a low-medium heat and fry the onion with a pinch of salt for 10-15 mins until softened and translucent. Add the garlic and fry for 1 min more. Remove from the heat and leave to cool slightly.
Meanwhile, cook the pumpkin in a pan of boiling salted water for 10-15 mins until tender when pierced with a cutlery knife. Drain and tip into a blender (or use a hand blender). Blitz with 50ml milk and the onions until completely smooth, gradually adding more milk until the mixture is thick enough to just coat the back of a spoon (you may not need all the milk). Tip into a large frying pan with the tomato purée and mascarpone, and bring to a simmer over a low heat.
Cook the pasta in a large pan of boiling, salted water following pack instructions. Drain, reserving a cupful of the cooking water. Toss the pasta with the pumpkin sauce, parmesan and 50-100ml of the reserved water to loosen. Season and scatter with extra parmesan.
125g (4oz) Flora Butter
200g (7oz) caster sugar
0.5 tsp vanilla extract
1 medium egg
300g (10oz) plain flour
1 level tsp baking powder
1 tsp ground cinnamon
1 tsp ground ginger
0.5 tsp ground cardamom
150g (5oz) pumpkin (grated)
Preheat oven to 200C/180C fan/ gas 6 and line two trays with baking paper.
Mix the Flora, sugar, vanilla and egg until smooth.
Add the flour, baking powder, salt, cinnamon, ginger and cardamom. Stir well until combined.
Finally add the pumpkin and mix until just combined.
Using a tablespoon, spoon the dough out onto the baking trays, leaving some space between each cookie in case they spread a little in the oven. Flatten each cookie slightly using your hand or a spoon.
Bake in the oven for 15-20 minutes until light brown. Leave to cool on a wire rack before serving.