When it comes to cooking, the cool evenings of autumn become the perfect excuse to prepare recipes with the fall and winter vegetable par excellence: the pumpkin. Indeed, this versatile, colorful and healthy ingredient can become the star of both sweet and savory, creative and contemporary dishes, whichever fits the mood. Here are 5 pumpkin-based proposals ideal for celebrating the most delicious side of the season.
Ravioli, ragù alla genovese, Salva Cremasco DOP, pumpkin mostarda – Vitium * – Chef Michele Minchillo – Crema (CR)
At the Vitium restaurant in Crema, the only Michelin Star location in the entire province of Cremona, Chef Michele Minchillo offers a first course with pumpkin, both on the more iconic Vitium menu and à la carte.
These are ravioli, ragù alla genovese, Salva Cremasco DOP, pumpkin mostarda, a meeting of different territories and flavors of Italy. In the recipe, fresh pasta, a symbol of Italian gastronomic craftsmanship, meets Genoese-style ragu, typically Neapolitan, and Salva Cremasco DOP cheese, produced in the lower Bergamo area, the Brescia plain and the area around Crema.
Rounding out the dish is a pumpkin mostarda, made from zucca mantovana-one of the varieties of this vegetable with the firmest and most sugary flesh-and mustard essence. To make it, the chef cleans and cuts the pumpkin into pieces, lets it macerate with sugar for a whole day, and finally boils it three times in the liquid released from the maceration itself. After that, to give it a minimum degree of spiciness, he blends it with a few drops of mustard essence and uses it to complete the dish.
Tortellini stuffed with pumpkin, rue herb and miso – Il Sereno Al Lago* – 5* L Il Sereno – Chef Raffaele Lenzi – Torno (CO)
On Lake Como, Executive Chef Raffaele Lenzi of Il Sereno Al Lago restaurant, the signature location of the 5L Il Sereno hotel in Torno (CO), enhances the beloved fall vegetable by using it as a filling for fresh handmade pasta.
In his tortellini stuffed with pumpkin, rue herb and miso, in fact, the pumpkin, is first baked in the oven so that it loses excess water and its flavor becomes more concentrated, then it is blended with rue herb, a wild plant with a balsamic aroma, and with soy miso, a particularly savory condiment obtained from the fermentation of soybeans. Then, it is used as a filling for tortellini, in this case prepared with a fresh egg pasta, wheat flour type one.
To complete the dish? A simple and essential hazelnut butter dressing, perfect for not overpowering the delicate flavor of the pumpkin.
Dumplings de Locro de Zapallo – Azotea – Chef Alexander Robles – Turin
In Turin, not far from the Gran Madre, is a nikkei cocktail-restaurant offering cuisine and cocktails blending Peru and Japan. While the dual offerings can be sampled in a tasting menu in which each dish is paired with a cocktail, customers who take a seat in the restaurant’s three rooms-Green Room, Tropical Room and Cocktail Room-also have the option of ordering a la carte.
In this very section of the menu, Chef Alexander Robles has included a traditional Peruvian recipe within a dumpling, a pasta format characteristic of Japanese gastronomy. The dish, dumplings de locro de zapallo, is prepared with the format stuffed with overcooked Hokkaido squash, and then topped with huacatay (Andean mint), primo sale, aji amarillo chili, choclo corn, marinated Tropea red onions, vegetable consommé, and herbed lard.
Raviolo, maracuja, pumpkin, octopus – Opera – Chef Stefano Sforza – Turin
In posh Turin, a short walk from Porta Susa station, a haute cuisine restaurant has been taking increasingly important steps toward sustainability since 2019. All credit is due to Chef Stefano Sforza, a proponent of a culinary philosophy that no longer includes the use of ingredients that do not meet ethical criteria: first and foremost, foie gras. In its place, nature is the protagonist in all its expression.
As in raviolo, maracuja, pumpkin, octopus, the first dish on the new menu. Fresh filled pasta, a classic of the chef’s, is in this case closed in the shape of a tortello, with an octopus filling. The water from the same cephalopod is used to make an unusual mayonnaise, served inside the steamed and then glided Lunga di Napoli squash at the base of the dish. The recipe is complemented by a pumpkin glaze, made with all the scraps of the vegetable used in other preparations and maracuja, and roasted pumpkin seeds.
Pumpkin Dumplings – Tuttofabrodo – Elisa Neri – Turin
Near Turin’s Porta Nuova station, in the multi-ethnic neighborhood of San Salvario, is an oriental fast casual dining. The project born from the experiences, dreams and travels of Elisa Neri-the head and heart of the restaurant-has resulted in a menu in which Japanese mastery and Italian-oriental taste coexist. On the menu diners can opt for some of the most distinctive Asian dishes. Among the best known and most popular are dumplings: typical Oriental dumplings handmade and steamed in bamboo baskets. To celebrate the fall season dumplings will be made with an orange dough, which contains carrot extract, and a vegan pumpkin filling.