Pumpkin Stuffed with Fontina, Sausage and Pasta

I admit, I had some reservations about this recipe. It sounded a little too easy for a cheesy pasta dish. First you bake the pumpkin, cook the pasta and saute the sausage. Then after mixing all the ingredients together, fill the inside of the pumpkin, and top with a cup of heavy cream. In less than 2 hours total it's meal time. This recipe is slightly adapted from the cookbook "Melt:The Art of Macaroni and Cheese" by Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord. In the end all I can say is that pumpkin stuffed with cheese and pasta is absolutely dreamy. The cheese combination works well together and melts perfectly. The added herbs bring the right amount of flavor. Serve with a green salad and you have a ideal cold weather dish.


1 sugar pumpkin (about 5 pounds)
Sea Salt
Freshly ground pepper
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 pound mild Italian pork sausage
4 ounces elbow macaroni (I used penne)
5 ounces Fontina, (cut into 1/4 inch squares)
2 ounces Gruyere, (cut into 1/4 inch squares)
3 scallions (sliced)
1 teaspoon fresh thyme (chopped)
1 teaspoon fresh sage (chopped)
1 cup heavy cream

To prepare:

Preheat oven to 350°. Cut the top off the pumpkin, at a 45-degree angle. What you want is a round lid that you will replace after stuffing to bake in the oven. Scoop out seeds and strings. Generously salt and pepper inside of pumpkin, place in a rimmed baking dish with top on and bake for 45 minutes.

In the mean time, heat olive oil and add sausage, (remove from casings). Saute until lightly browned. Drain on a paper towel to remove oil and set aside.

Cook pasta in a large pot of boiling water until al dente. Drain and rinse to stop the cooking process.

In a large bowl, toss together the Fontina, Gruyere, sausage, pasta, scallions and herbs. Add to baked pumpkin. Pour the cream over the filling. Place top back on pumpkin and bake for 1 hour, removing the top the last 15 minutes.

Allow the pumpkin to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Cut into sections or scoop out pasta, scraping the sides. Salt and pepper to taste.

P. S. Save the pumpkin seeds. First clean, soak overnight and then roast at 350°. Good for snacking and toppings for soups and salads.


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