’Tis the season to carve a pumpkin, and some local restaurants have been getting creative with the guts and seeds. Where can you eat your fill of creative plates and sweets featuring pumpkin innards to make your Halloween complete? And how do you make your own fresh, pumpkin-based entree? Cecconi’s chef Andrea Cavalleri shows us in our guide to creative pumpkin cooking in L.A. Take a look.
Coffee Bean and Tea Leaf keeps pumpkin lattes and pumpkin ice blendeds pumping out of their stores for a little while longer and are one of their most popular holiday snacks. If you’re craving pumpkin pie at 8 a.m., but feel guilty this early, it could be your best bet.
Pitfire Pizza is slicing up pumpkin pie pizza for the season, topped with roasted organic pumpkin and toasted pumpkin seeds (pepitas), as well as pumpkin seed oil, four cheeses, and wild greens. Yum!
The Yard’s new chef and (Top Chef player) CJ Jacobson is busting out the tastiest sounding use of pumpkin in a dinner dish we could find, with a pale ale-braised pot roast that comes with caramelized pumpkin, then backed with yet more pumpkin action in a preserved lemon pepita gremolata.
If you’re looking for spiced up pumpkin with an eastern twist, Soi 56 in Hollywood cooks a pumpkin curry and also features a dish with sauteed pumpkin and scallions.
Marche L.A.’s Chef Gary Menes is, of course, not using any old pumpkin, but rather a French variety called mesquee de provence, currently served with wheat berries, pomegranate vinaigrette, and dandelion greens in Sherman Oaks.
Unfortunately, it’s only served as a side, but the monthly menu at Rustic Canyon features a small plate of roasted pumpkin with honey, black pepper, and mint, which sounds very much worth traveling for. And if you still have the pumpkin DTs, they have fresh pie made with the stuff.
Among the rosewater and saffron ice cream, Mashti Malone’s has its own great pumpkin flavor for the season.
Chef Richmond has Halloween cupcakes in Akasha’s bakery that are house-made with real pumpkin, plus she’s including vegans, with a cruelty-free pumpkin sponge cake.
To get truly indulgent on your Halloween sugar jones, BLT Steak has a double-layer pumpkin cheesecake with buttery crushed toffee that seems the most sinful of gourd-induced pleasures.
The four locations of trendy sweet specialists Susiecakes is currently offering pumpkin spice cupcakes with cream cheese frosting.
90-year old ice cream classic Fosselman’s is currently making its own pumpkin pie ice cream.
Now, what to do if you have leftover pumpkin of your own? Try this recipe for fresh pumpkin tortelli from Cecconi’s chef Andrea Cavalleri:
Pumpkin Tortelli from chef Andrea Cavalleri, Cecconi’s
For 4 to 6 peoples:
For the pasta: 1 1/2 pounds store-bought fresh pasta sheets, or if you want to do like we do at Cecconis, 15 egg yolks, 1.1 pounds 00 flour (combine egg to flour, when the dough is formed, leave it to rest for 30 minutes, and then with a pasta machine make thin sheets of pasta)
For the filling: 3 pounds pumpkin,1 egg, 3oz fresh ricotta cheese, 2 oz grated Parmigiano, Pinch of nutmeg, olive oil, salt and pepper
For the sauce: 2 oz unsalted butter, 1oz Parmigiano Regiano, 3 leaves of sage, 3 small crushed Amaretti cookies.
Preheat oven to 370 degrees. On a work surface, cut pumpkin in half lengthwise. Scoop out seeds; discard. Transfer to a parchment-lined baking sheet. Drizzle olive oil evenly over insides of pumpkin halves; Roast, cut-side down, until pumpkin is easily pierced with a paring knife, about 50 to 60 minutes. Let cool.
When cool enough to handle, scoop out flesh with a spoon. You’ll need 1 1/2 cups of purée. Transfer flesh to a clean kitchen towel or cheesecloth; wring excess liquid into a bowl. Place flesh in the bowl along with egg, Parmigiano and a pinch of nutmeg; smash with a fork until smooth. Season with salt and pepper.
Lay 1 pasta sheet on work surface. Place 1 tablespoon filling every 3 inches. Brush water around filling. Place another sheet on top, pressing around filling to seal. Using a fluted pastry wheel, cut each ravioli into a 3-by-3-inch square. Repeat with remaining pasta sheets and filling. Transfer ravioli to a parchment-lined baking sheet sprinkled with semolina.
Bring a large pot of salted water to boil;. Add ravioli; cook until it just floats, 3 to 4 minutes.
In a large sauté pan, melt butter over high heat. Add sage; cook until butter begins to and sizzle, add a couple of spoons of warm water or vegetable stock, about 30 seconds. Remove pan from heat,, transfer ravioli to the pan, tossing to combine. Serve immediately sprinkle with Amaretti cookies and Parmigiano Reggiano.