Autumn, autumn, autumn – Oh I have missed you! I really do think it is time for this cozy and calm season, where long days out on the run are replaced with couch quality in front of the candlelights. This need for a change in season might be even more evident for me this year since I am buried in literature, report deadlines, expectations, frustrations, happiness, doubts and long days and night nailed to a chair with my nose buried deep in books. Yes…I have started my master, and yes, it is as everybody says, so much more demanding than anything you are used to. So those long indian summer night we have had seems a bit wasted on me, and I happily welcome the darker seasons suited to stay inside and be a nerd!
To accompany me on these autumn night I need something comforting, warming and filled with nutrients, which can be made with a blink of an eye. This dish; a stuffed hokkaido pumpkin baked in the oven, fulfil my needs. Besides being very tasty, it is easy to whip up, budget friendly, versatile and a great way to use leftovers. I have made my pumpkins with a portion of leftover classic bolognese, but next time I have some chicken or beef stew on hands I’ll try it too. I believe you can stuff it with whatever you want, but a juice portion of meat would be my preferred filling.
So join me in welcoming the golden (and bronze coloured) season and try this lovely and nutritious comfort food – I promise you it tastes even better when enjoyed on the couch in front of a candle light :)
Stuffed Hokkaido Pumpkin with a golden cheese layer
2 small/medium hokkaido pumpkins, or one large (approx. 1-1,5 kg in total)
1 portion (maybe around 3 cups / 750 g) of leftover stew or bolognese
200 g grated firm cheese, as prima donna, gouda or your favourite melty cheese
Preheat your oven to 175 ºC/350 ºF (fan). Cut your pumpkins into halves, remove the seeds and place them face up on a lined baking sheet. In order to make them balance you can cut away a little piece on the curvy side. Fill up your pumpkin with leftover stew or bolognese, top it with plenty of grated cheese, place on a lined baking sheet and bake in the oven for 45 min – 1 hour – until the pumpkin is soft and tender and the cheese is golden.
Serve the pumpkins with a dollop of cold yoghurt or creme fraiche and perhaps a little fresh and crispy salad.