This is the last baby bear pumpkin that I harvested last Autumn from my garden, and kept it in my potato draw for months (the others got eaten during Winter). Yesterday I finally cut it to take part the Italian blogging event Fuori di Zucca; the recipe is a bit.. Autumn style, I know, but it may be useful now for the readers in the Northern Hemisphere.
I planted baby bear pumpkins for three years, and loved them, they are little so when I cut them they are perfect for one meal. To be honest last year I had a new mysterious pumpkin too in my garden (possibly from a seed in my compost), and my baby baby bears were quite different! Some were green and some were gray... A friend told me that I may had some cross pollination going on. This year I planted a different pumpkin, a big Italian one, and had no more space in the garden for baby bears... I regret it now, when I cut my last tiny pumpkin inside it was fresh and perfect and sweet smelling... what a perfect veggie to grow since it can be stored for months!
For the sauce I used 20 g or dried porcini mushrooms soaked for 30 minutes in water. I cut the pumpkin and cubed it, then passed it in a pan with 20 g of salted butter (Vegan can use margarine) and a couple of peeled garlic cloves. When the butter started sizzling I added the porcini and their soaking water.
Instead of salt I added one organic vegetable cube. I covered the veggies with a lid and let then simmer for about 30 minutes. Then I added 200 ml of cream (Vegan can use vegetable cream) and simmered the sauce for about 20 more minutes (on low). I finished it with some freshly chopped parsley. The creamy sauce was perfect for tortiglioni pasta, and the pumpkin was so creamy and soft that it melted in the mouth. Very nice with a glass of Pinot Gris :-).
Photos and Recipes by Alessandra Zecchini ©