(more pumpkin recipes here)
Preparation: 10 minutes
Cooking: 15 minutes
Recipe grading: easy
Pumpkin used to be an everyday food. There were even traveling street vendors who sold their hot fragrant baked pumpkin to passersby. Nowadays consumption is mainly limited to certain regions, Emilia Romagna being one of them, where yellow pumpkins are still widely used in fillings and soups.
2 lb/1 kg piece of yellow pumpkin
1 cup/4 oz/125 g all-purpose/plain flour
Oil for frying (olive or sunflower)
Salt to taste
Peel the pumpkin. Remove the seeds and the fibrous layer beneath them. Cut the flesh into slices 1/2 in/1 cm thick and 1-1/2 in/4 cm long.
Coat lightly with flour; shaking off any excess.
Heat plenty of oil until it is very hot, then fry the pumpkin pieces a few at a time until they are a deep golden brown.
Drain on paper towels.
Sprinkle with a little salt and serve piping hot.
For deliciously crisp pumpkin pieces, use a small saucepan and have the oil deep and very hot. Fry just a few pieces at a time, so that the temperature of the oil stays high. In this way the fried pieces will be lighter and contain less fat, since the very quick frying seals the vegetable immediately and it absorbs less oil.
If you can't eat fried foods, try the following:
Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F/200 degrees C/Gas 6. Spread the pumpkin pieces, cut 1/2 in/1 cm thick, out on a rack to bake.
After 15 minutes increase the temperature to 425 degrees F/220 degrees C/Gas 7 and cook for a another 5 minutes. The pumpkin should be lightly browned.
Serve hot with small pieces of butter and a sprinkling of salt and freshly ground pepper.
Suggested wine: a light, dry white (Colli Piacentini Pinot Grigio).
Flavors of Italy: Emilia Romagna
By Rosalba Gioffrè
Time Life Books, 1999
Color photos throughout
Recipe reprinted by permission.
This page created October 2000
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