Polenta, a staple of Italian cooks, is similar to cornmeal mush in New England as well as the Zulu dish isijingi, which is corn porridge with pumpkin and maybe a little peanut butter. Serve this version with grilled sausages and a crisp salad or with chicken, pork chops, or steak beside some steamed vegetables.
- 1 pound fresh pumpkin, seeds and fibers removed, cut into big chunks
- 1 tbsp olive oil, plus more for brushing the pumpkin
- 1 tsp crumbled dried sage
- 2 tbsp minced shallots
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup dry polenta
- 1/2 tsp salt
- 1 tbsp butter
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
Heat the oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
Brush each pumpkin chunk with oil and place in a roasting pan. Bake for 45 minutes, or until the pumpkin can be easily pierced with a fork.
When cool enough to handle, remove the skin and roughly mash enough to measure 2 cups, scraping up the brown parts. Store the rest in the refrigerator for up to a week, or freeze for up to 3 months.
Return the mashed pumpkin to the roasting pan and add the sage and shallots.
Drizzle with the 1 tablespoon oil and roast for another 10 to 15 minutes, until the shallots soften.
Heat the chicken broth in a large saucepan over medium-high heat until it boils.
Reduce the heat to low, and gradually add the polenta in a thin stream, stirring constantly.
Add the salt and continue to cook over low heat, stirring occasionally, until the mixture thickens, about 20 minutes.
Stir in the pumpkin mixture, and then stir in the butter and Parmesan.
Cook and continue stirring for a few minutes, until just combined.
Find more seasonal pumpkin recipes here: Pumpkin Recipes and Growing Tips.This recipe is excerpted from The Pumpkin Cookbook and used with permission from Storey Publishing.