Oct 272013

Around this time of year the food press sounds its perennial advice on pumpkin pie, but what is usually¬†overlooked are the endless dishes, both sweet and savory, that you can make using edible pumpkins and squashes. Probably no one reveres the pumpkin as much as the Italians, and the Venetians in particular, the subject of my most recent article for Zester Daily, “Why Venice Adores its Pumpkins.”

Our home-grown pumpkin, under the cleaver.  Photo: Celina della Croce

Our home-grown pumpkin being carved up for a savory stew.
Photo: Celina della Croce

Read about the Venetians’ love affair with zucca, and find my heirloom recipe for savory pumpkin or winter squash stew with tomato, dry-cured olives, and garlic.

My heirloom recipe for savory Pumpkin Stew with Oil-Cured Olives, Tomato, and Garlic, from Italian Home Cooking: 125 Recipes to Comfort Your Soul (Kyle Books) Photo: Hirsheimer & Hamilton

My heirloom recipe for savory Pumpkin Stew with Tomato, Dry-Cured Olives, and Garlic, from Italian Home Cooking: 125 Recipes to Comfort Your Soul (Kyle Books). Photo: Hirsheimer & Hamilton


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  7 Responses to “There is More Than One Way to Skin a Pumpkin”

  1. Any recipes for a pumpkin risotto?

    • My book, Veneto: Authentic recipes from Venice and the Italian Northeast (Chronicle Books) has a terrific, authentic recipe for it with beautiful photos. I will be writing a post about the dish and its origins in the future. Stay tuned.

  2. Hi Julia, Am enjoying your e-mails.
    What is the “instrument” you are using to cut the pumpkin. Looks interesting. GG

  3. That Pumpkin Stew looks wonderful. I’m going to have to grab my copy of your book from the shelf and make it. I do believe I have everything I need. Years ago when I first grew various Italian zucca in my home garden I was thrilled. Such beauty, such truly remarkable looking veggies – I don’t know how else to describe them. Some were covered with what a neighbor’s son called “veggie warts.” Many were multi-hued. There were greens, yellows, beiges, orange tones and glorious browns – you name it. And once we cut them open we were treated to the most glorious interior flesh. I can see why Italians, and Venetians in particular, love their pumpkins.

  4. Adri, what a great description! I think in North America, we have tended to overlook this vegetable, a shame. They all have their own distinctive taste and the endless things that can be done with them is amazing. I just started, this past week doing some baking with pumpkin…moving on to pasta with squash tomorrow, then I was thinking of Ottolenghi’s oxtails with pumpkin….sounds delicious! Delicious, simply roasted with potatoes & carrots. Gee, and to think when I was growing up the only thing that pumpkin was used for, besides Halloween, was Mom’s pumpkin pie (the absolute best). Bring them on, I say!

    Ciao, Phyllis

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