“A Pumpkin Good Time” with Patty Roche

Need a little help getting into the fall spirit? We’ve got just the dish for you – or should we say pumpkin?

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Each year, our in-house chef Patty Roche teaches a pumpkin themed class the week of Halloween where she serves her main course inside of a pumpkin. This year, it’s Hearty White Bean Stew. These stew filled pumpkins make for a beautiful main course for a dinner party, or any time you feel like serving something special! The flavor from the roasted pumpkin really elevates the hearty stew to new levels. We’re big fans of the puff pastry lid, too.

Hearty White Bean Stew in a Pumpkin Bowl with a Puff Pastry Lid

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Ingredients:

For the pumpkins:

  • 6 sugar pumpkins – (about 2 lbs)
  • 2 Tablespoon melted butter
  • 2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper
  • ¼ teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 large egg beaten with:
    • 1 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
    • 1 Tablespoon heavy cream

For the stew:

  • 9 sweet Italian turkey sausages
  • 3 Tablespoons extra virgin olive oil, divided
  • 3 medium carrots, cut into medium dice
  • 1 large yellow onion, cut into medium dice
  • 2 medium garlic cloves, minced
  • 2 cups ½-inch cubed, peeled butternut squash (about half of a 2lb squash)
  • 2 to 3 medium Yukon Golden potatoes, cut into medium dice
  • 1/4 tsp ground allspice
  • Pinch of cayenne pepper; more to taste
  • Kosher salt
  • 1 quart lower-salt chicken broth
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can no-salt-added diced tomatoes
  • 4 sprigs fresh thyme
  • 2 cups lightly packed, coarsely chopped kale
  • 1 cup canned, cooked white beans (cannelloni, white kidney bean, navy bean, etc.)

For the puff pastry lid:

  • 2 sheets of prepared puff pastry, cut into 8″ circles

Directions:

For the stew:

  1. Using a small, sharp knife, piece each sausage in 3 or 4 places. Heat 1 Tablespoon of the extra virgin olive oil in a skillet over medium heat.
  2. Add the sausages and cook, turning occasionally, until cooked through and golden brown on all sides, 15 to 20 minutes. Transfer the sausages to a cutting board and tent with foil to keep warm.
  3. Heat the remaining 2 Tablespoons oil in a large soup pot over medium-high heat. Add the carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until they begin to soften, about 6 minutes.
  4. Add the garlic and cook for 1 minute more. Add the squash, potatoes, allspice, cayenne, 1 teaspoon salt and stir to combine.
  5. Add the broth, tomatoes with their juice and thyme. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium, cover and simmer for 10 minutes.
  6. Add the kale and the white beans and cook uncovered until the squash is tender and the kale has wilted, about 10 minutes more.
  7. Discard the thyme sprigs before serving and season to taste.

For the pumpkins:

  1. Heat oven to 375°F.
  2. Slice the tops off the pumpkins. Placing them on a towel will keep keep it from rolling around.
  3. Scoop out the seeds and discard.
  4. Using a pastry brush, brush the insides of the pumpkins with melted butter and season with 1/2 teaspoon salt, 1/4 teaspoon pepper and 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg.
  5. Place pumpkins on a baking sheet and cover tightly with foil. Bake until tender, about 30 minutes.

To assemble and serve:

  1. Cut the sausages in half on the diagonal. Ladle the stew among the pumpkin shells and arrange the sausages in each shell.
  2. Roll each piece of pastry dough to a thickness of 1/8-inch. Pull center of dough upward to form a pumpkin-like stem. Place over the hollow of each filled pumpkin and trim as necessary. Using the back of a small paring knife, mark the dough to simulate the lines of the pumpkin. Brush top of dough with egg wash. Bake until crust is golden, about 45 minutes.

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