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Five foodie things to do with your Halloween pumpkin

Monday 21 October 2013Food

Halloween is a great time to dress up and get decorating for a bit of autumnal fun – complete with a Jack O’Latern. If you and your housemates decide to get carving, don’t waste the rest of the pumpkin.

Pumpkin is a great alternative to potato for bulking out a healthy meal. Try one or more of the recipes below. All you’ll need are some basics – saucepans, trays, dishes and foil.

Roasted pumpkin

Simple and delicious. For a savoury version, swap the spices for black pepper and ground cumin.


1 whole pumpkin

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 teaspoon ground cloves

1 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1 tablespoon brown sugar

Pinch of salt

Heat oven to 200C. Use a sharp knife to cut slices of pumpkin, about 1 inch thick.

Place slices on baking sheet. Drizzle with olive oil and rub both sides with salt, spices and brown sugar. Roast for 20-25 minutes.


Toasted pumpkin seeds

A great alternative to popcorn – perfect for a horror film marathon.


150g pumpkin seeds

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

Heat oven to 140C and line a baking tray with foil. Rinse the seeds with water, and remove any strings and bits of squash. Pat dry, and place in a small bowl. Stir the olive oil and salt into the seeds until evenly coated. Spread out in an even layer on the prepared baking tray.

Bake for 15 minutes, or until seeds start to pop. Leave to cool before serving.


Pumpkin tart

A bit more effort required for this one but simple all the same.


1 whole pumpkin

275g plain flour

Pinch of salt

125g unsalted butter, chilled and cut into small cubes

10 tablespoons of cold water

2 eggs

100g caster sugar

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

Pinch of nutmeg

Heat oven to 180C. Sift the flour and salt into a bowl. Add the butter and gently rub into the flour until it looks like fine breadcrumbs. Add enough water to make dough and form into a smooth ball. Cover with cling film and put in the fridge for an hour.

Roll out pastry on a lightly floured a line a flan tin (any shallow dish will do) and prick with a fork. Cook for 15 minutes 

Make the filling using the flesh scooped out from the pumpkin. Steam the flesh for 15-20 minutes, drain and then mash. Leave to cool and then beat the eggs together with the sugar and stir into the pumpkin mixture. Add the cinnamon and nutmeg.

Pour the filling into the pastry, sprinkle the seeds on top and bake in the oven for another 45 minutes until the filling has set.


Pumpkin stew

Easy, tasty and delicious, perfect comfort food before or after a night out.


1 whole pumpkin

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 x 400ml tins coconut milk

2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained

4cm piece of fresh ginger, peeled

A bunch of fresh coriander

Olive oil

4 garlic cloves, peeled and sliced

1 fresh red chilli, deseeded and sliced

1 large onion, peeled and sliced

1 teaspoon mustard seeds

20 curry leaves

1 teaspoon turmeric

1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes

2 x 400ml tins coconut milk

2 x 400g tins chickpeas, drained

Chop the pumpkin into 3cm chunks and cut the ginger into thin slices. Pick the coriander leaves and chop the stalks.

Pour a good lug of oil into a large saucepan and place on a high heat. Add the ginger, garlic, chilli and onion, then reduce to a medium heat.

Cook until golden, stirring occasionally, then add the mustard seeds, curry leaves, and coriander stalks and fry until the curry leaves go crispy. Add the turmeric, tomatoes and coconut milk.

Bring to the boil, then add the pumpkin and chickpeas. Reduce to a low heat, cover with a lid and simmer for an hour. Add a splash of water if it looks a bit dry.

Serve with rice, naan bread and chutneys and dips on the side.


Pumpkin pasta

A twist on a quick pasta dish – try rosemary or parsley if you can find sage.


1 whole pumpkin, cut into cubes

3 tablespoons olive oil

140g pancetta or bacon, cut into cubes

1 small onion, thinly sliced

25g butter

20g pack fresh sage, finely chopped

400g penne pasta

25g freshly grated cheese

Heat a medium saucepan, add half the olive oil and bacon, then cook for 5 minutes. Add remaining oil and the onion. Cook for another 5 mins, until the onion softens and the bacon is crispy.

Stir in the butter, then add in the pumpkin and sage. Cover and cook for 6-8 minutes, stirring occasionally until the pumpkin is soft.

Cook the pasta according to pack instructions. Drain and add to the pumpkin mixture. Stir in the parmesan and season. Serve in pasta bowls sprinkled with extra cheese.