Pumpkin stuffed with Vegetables and Cheese

I love fall — just the smells hanging in the air fills me with a sense of adventure.  Woody smoke, apples, root vegetables, leaves burning…it is all there beckoning us to pay attention.  The other day, the Sisters were given a very generous donation of pumpkins from a local nursery.   It was a beautiful sight seeing them lining our walk in all different shapes and sizes.  Being the thrifty sort and hating to see anything go to waste, I knew we must use these not just to beautify our property, but to eat before they went bad.  When I got the call that a lunch was needed to feed our community of 200 people, I knew just the thing – homemade pumpkin soup –  Delightful!  We set about cutting the pumpkins into large chunks, roasting them in the oven, and then transferring them to our skillet where we turned it all into a yummy creamy pumpkin soup.  When we were all done, we still had pumpkins left over!  (It felt a bit like the feeding of the 5000!).  I remembered that a friend, returning from Italy, had brought me a wonderful recipe of a whole, roasted pumpkin layered with ham, sautéed vegetables and cheese.  It’s a perfect recipe to try at this time of year, especially with Thanksgiving just around the corner.

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Pumpkin stuffed with Vegetables and Cheese
SERVINGS
6-8people
CHANGE SERVING SIZE
people
COOK TIME
1 hr30 min
PREP TIME
30min
READY IN
2hr

Ingredients

Instructions

  1. Wash the pumpkin
  2. Preheat oven to 375°
  3. Cut the head of the pumpkin, making an incision horizontally about 2 inches down from the stem
  4. Place the top back on the pumpkin, wrap it in tin foil and place in a preheated oven for about one hour or until the pumpkin is almost fork tender.
  5. Remove from oven, let it cool slightly and remove the seeds. With the spoon, gently remove some of the flesh from inside the pumpkin and reserve.
  6. Generously salt and pepper the interior of the pumpkin.
  7. In a cast iron skillet, heat the olive oil and add the butternut squash and parsnips. Sprinkle with kosher or onion salt and pepper.
  8. When they are partially cooked, remove from the skillet
  9. Add onions and peppers to the same skillet, again sprinkling with salt and pepper.
  10. Once they have cooked a few minutes, add the mushrooms, followed by the zucchini, a few minutes later. Sautéing slightly.
  11. While the vegetables are cooking, grate your cheese and set aside and slice your ham into thin strips.
  12. Once the vegetables are prepared, in the cavity of your pumpkin, start layering in this order: ham, baby spinach, assorted vegetables, the reserved pumpkin, swiss cheese, parmesan cheese and repeat – two or three times, ending with cheese.
  13. Place the top on the pumpkin, place the pumpkin in a casserole dish or cast iron skillet, and return to the oven for about 45 min. or until heated through and cheese is bubbly. Let rest a few minutes and slice when ready to serve.

Andiamo Mangiare!
For a meal, serve this with homemade bread or rolls and a salad.

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