Who knew, Lindt makes Halloween Jack-o-Lantern Chocolates! A nice spooky treat for anyone who craves something sweet!
I absolutely LOVED this episode, because it embodied everything I love about the Fall!! He did a lot of recipes using pumpkins, and squash, all which he picked on his land! So then he made this Acini Pepe dish using a pumpkin and squash, and Acini Pepe is one of my favorite pastas, so I was itching to try this for a long time now! Maybe this year I will finally get to !
- 1 large pumpkin, about 6 pounds
Extra-virgin olive oil, for oiling pumpkin, plus 2 tablespoons
- Salt and freshly ground pepper
- About 4 cups chicken stock or canned low-salt chicken broth
1 cup finely chopped onion
2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh thyme leaves
- 1 1/2 pounds dried pastina or other small pasta, such as riso
- 2 cups roasted butternut squash (see recipe below)
- 1/2 turkey breast, pre-cooked, chopped small
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus a small piece for garnishing
- Balsamic vinegar dressing, optional
- Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F.
Cut the lid off the pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and fibers. Scrape away some of the flesh, especially around the top, to form a large, smooth inner cavity. Make sure to leave the shell at least 1-inch thick all around. Oil the pumpkin inside and out and season inside with salt and pepper. Replace the lid. Place on a baking sheet and bake until about 2/3 cooked but still firm enough to stand and act as the soup container, about 40 minutes. Do not over-bake. If a good deal of liquid gathers in the bottom, spoon out and discard. Set aside; it will stay warm on its own for a good while.
Bring the stock to a low simmer in a saucepan. Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil in a large saute pan over medium-high heat until hot. Add the onion and cook until soft but not brown, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the thyme, stir, and add the pastina. Stir and add 2 cups of heated stock. Bring the mixture up to a simmer.
Simmer, adding the stock 1/2 cup at a time as the previous addition is absorbed and stirring occasionally to prevent the pastina from sticking to the bottom of the pan, until the pasta is al dente, about 15 minutes. Add the roasted squash and turkey to reheat. Stir well. The consistency should be quite loose, like a thick soup. Add more stock, if necessary. Add the 1/2 cup cheese and let melt for a moment before stirring in. Taste for seasoning. Fill the reserved pumpkin shell with the pastina. Grate Parmesan on top and replace the lid and take to the table immediately.
You could also serve this in individual tureens using smaller pumpkins or acorn squash.
Now for this week's Halloween Clip!!!
This cartoon is from 1942, and I remember my mom taping this for me on an old VHS back when I was probably like 5 years old. Here is a review I found on IMDB.com which is pretty spot on!
Jasper and the Haunted House is another George Pal Puppetoon about a black boy and his troubles. This time, the scarecrow switches a sign that leads Jasper to a haunted house instead of a deacon's place where he brings a pie. There's an entertaining swing number with the house's piano, and books on a shelf moving to the music. Perhaps because it involves a black boy being scared of a haunted house, this short is considered racist but, really, it's just a boy who happens to be African-American who is simply frightened of something unusual happening. Seek this out if you're a fan of all puppet animation but if what I've just described is politically incorrect, just avoid.
Well that is all I have for you today my dears! This past week I have received this year's Autumn issue of Better Homes and Gardens, so I will definitely be doing a piece on that for next Spooky Monday! Now for my next trick, THE PRACITCAL MAGIC BLOG PARTY! ONE WEEK LEFT LADIES! LET'S CLEAN HOUSE !
Tricks and Treats,