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In Season Now: Pumpkin

“Have you come to sing pumpkin carols?”

The sweet, funny line from “It’s the Great Pumpkin, Charlie Brown,” hints at a pumpkin truth: they are a grand tradition on stoops, porches and patios. From Jack O’Lanterns to pies, cookies to pastas, soups to, yes, lattes, pumpkins are everywhere. (To be fair, the lattes seldom actually have pumpkin in them — only the spices that comprise pumpkin pie.)

Pumpkins are planted in late spring and slowly grow for months and months. By the time October rolls around, they’re ready for picking. Whether you’re carving a pumpkin or cooking it, it’s quintessential fall.

Speaking of cooking — and eating — pumpkins, they are especially good for you. That deeply hued orange flesh is an excellent source of Vitamin A, and also a good source of Vitamin C and other nutrients.

So what will you make with them this fall? Take a savory approach with this hearty pasta dish that combines roasted sugar pumpkin with cheese ravioli, a little onion and bright, earthy sage.

To prepare the pumpkin for roasting, first use a peeler to peel the pumpkin. Then cut it in half and scoop out of the innards (the seeds are excellent for roasting for snacks and salad toppings). Finally, cut the pumpkin into cubes.

Ravioli with Roasted Pumpkin and Sage

Serves 4

2 cups cubed sugar pumpkin (about 1/2 pumpkin, peeled

and innards removed)

2 tbsp olive oil

Salt and pepper, to taste

12 oz package cheese ravioli

1 tbsp olive oil

1 small onion, small diced (about 2/3 cup)

2 tbsp unsalted butter

2 tbsp finely chopped fresh sage

Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Line a baking sheet with nonstick aluminum foil. Toss the cubed pumpkin with 2 tablespoons olive oil, salt and pepper and spread on the baking sheet.

Bake for 15 minutes, stir and bake for an additional 15 minutes.

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook the ravioli according to package directions. Drain, reserving one ladle of water.

In a medium skillet, heat 1 tablespoon of olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until golden brown — about 10 minutes. Add the butter and sage and cook for an additional 4-5 minutes, until the butter is melted and the sage is wilted. Add the ladle of water from the pasta pot and stir well. Add the pasta and pumpkin and toss to coat.

Serve immediately. If desired, add a sprinkle of freshly grated parmesan cheese.

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