BitterSweet

An Obsession with All Things Handmade and Home-Cooked

Pumped for Pumpkin Season

28 Comments

Throughout all of the seasonal upheaval, one thing that cooks and connoisseur both look forward to with a certain child-like glee is the return of the pumpkin. Like clockwork, the blogosphere will be inundated with pumpkin soups, pumpkin cakes, and pumpkin smoothies and in no time at all, the sting of losing summer will begin to fade. Or at least, that’s how it’s supposed to work. For the past couple of years though, mother nature has thwarted this comfortable transition, finding new ways to wipe out the current crop of pumpkins and create mass panic amongst foodies everywhere. This year it’s the devastation of hurricane Irene that’s driving shoppers to wipe grocery store shelves of canned pumpkin clean, stock piling for the inevitable shortage – Mostly caused by other people stuffing their pantries as well, rather than any actual scarcity.

Very reluctantly using one of my last remaining and so very precious cans of the orange squash puree, I set out to ease the pain of entering into full fledged autumn and create something special. Pumpkin ravioli, each delicate envelope of thin pasta packed with savory, slightly cheesy pumpkin goodness, sounded like the perfect option. The good news and bad news is that the pumpkin element ended up being pushed out of the spotlight, upstaged by the unassuming supporting actor; the sauce. Yes, it was all about the sauce.

A simple “cream” sauce enriched with chopped mushrooms for that extra umami umph, it’s a versatile accompaniment that wears many hats. Pairing beautifully with all sorts of autumnal dishes, you could also pour a generous dollop over fluffy, homemade biscuits and call it gravy, and it takes on that extra role without missing a beat. It may not be particularly innovative, but with so much seasonal upheaval, sometimes classic comfort food really is best.

So the ravioli were a bit disappointing, but by no means bad. The good news in this situation is that since the pumpkin didn’t stand out, you could seamlessly substitute pureed butternut squash, sweet potato, parsnips, or pretty much any slightly sweet winter squash or root vegetable. Just mix 1 cup of puree with 1/4 cup of vegan parmesan, plus a pinch of salt, pepper, and nutmeg, and stuff about 1 – 2 teaspoons between two wonton wrappers, dabbing the edges with water to seal. Simmer the ravioli very gently for just 2 – 3 minutes, until the wontons are al dente. Toss with mushroom creme sauce, and forget all about that awful pumpkin shortage.

Mushroom Creme Sauce/Gravy

2 Tablespoons Olive Oil
1 Medium Yellow Onion, Chopped
2 Cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
16 Ounces Cremini or Button Mushrooms, Roughly Chopped
2 Cups Unsweetened Non-Dairy Milk
1/2 Teaspoon Dried Thyme
1/4 Cup Vegan Parmesan
2 Tablespoons Chickpea Flour
Salt and Pepper, to Taste

Set a large skillet with high sides or a medium saucepan over moderate heat. Allow the oil to get nice and hot before adding in the onion, and sauteeing it for 8 – 10 minutes so that it softens and begins to barely take on color. Add in the minced garlic along with the chopped mushrooms, and continue to cook, stirring frequently, for 5 – 6 minutes. The mushrooms should reduce significantly in size.

Separately, whisk together the “milk” of your choosing, thyme, “parmesan,” and chickpea flour until smooth. Pour this mixture into the skillet or saucepan, and stir well. Be sure to scrape the bottom and sides of the pan frequently to ensure that nothing burns. Cook for another 6 – 8 minutes, or until the liquid thickens and bubbles begin to break on the surface. Turn off the heat, season to taste with salt and pepper, and serve while hot!

Makes Enough for 3 – 4 Servings of Ravioli

Printable Recipe

About these ads

Author: Hannah Kaminsky

Author of My Sweet Vegan, Vegan Desserts, Vegan a la Mode, and Easy as Vegan Pie.

28 thoughts on “Pumped for Pumpkin Season

  1. I love using wontons for raviolis! So easy. What brand do you use though? I’ve never found egg-free wrappers.

    • I’m not sure what brand (I actually made these a while ago, shhh…) but I found that there are lots of eggless options at Asian markets. They tend to be refrigerated or frozen, and shouldn’t be too hard to find. It’s true though that most conventional grocery stores only carry wonton wrappers with eggs, for some odd reason.

  2. I think the sauce definitely deserves the spotlight every once and awhile. And I love mushrooms and pumpkin together. So deliciously savory!

  3. I have typically not done much with pumpkins in the past but I hope that this year I will get in on the glory! :)

    http://haymarket8.blogspot.com

  4. What a beautiful mushroom sauce! I’ve got some frozen pumpkin still from last year, hoping it will get me through the season. Too bad your raviolis weren’t hands down amazing–next time!

  5. This sounds fantastic. They just finally put out the cans of pumpkin this year and they are already pretty sparse. I think I’ll have to try this with a nice butternut squash. Save the pumpkin for a pumpkin roll or two

  6. If I don’t have chickpea flour, what could I use instead?

  7. These look absolutely delicious! I really like the idea of savory pumpkin dishes as a nice break from all the sweet pumpkin fare thats out there right now! :-}

  8. This looks amazing! I am so excited for pumpkin season too!!!! Can’t wait for pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pancakes, pumpkin everything!

  9. I constantly, constantly forget how much I like mushrooms. Mushroom sauce FTW!

    (I’m studiously ignoring the whole pumpkin part. My innate laziness in the face of mashing my own pumpkin and Australia’s lack of canned pumpkin makes such a course of action necessary.)

  10. I had no idea that we were in a pumpkin shortage again! Good thing I still have about 15 cans from last season. I should start selling them on the black market.

    This ravioli…sounds…so good. but that sauce? Even better. I always make my alfredo sauces with almond milk!

  11. The sauce sounds like it deserved to be the star, but the ravioli look pretty great, too. Last fall I fell in love with kabocha, and I bet it would make the perfect ravioli filling. You should devise a recipe! :)

  12. I am hoping to pick up a pumpkin at the farmers market tomorrow. Now I want to make pumpkin ravioli. I try to pick up 2 pie pumpkins every fall to roast and freeze. And one of my favorite farms has a French heirloom variety I fell on love with last fall. I know what I will be doing this weekend now. Wonder how they would freeze though…

  13. Great idea to use chickpea flour to thicken the sauce. That stuff works like magic and adds such great nutty flavor!

  14. its going to be a fun Halloween without the pumpkins.. well still some time to go! i am loving the mushroom sauce..very versatile and sounds super delicious. my mom is very surprised by my overuse of chickpea flour. i used to not like it much because it is ovely used in deep fried indian snacks, and that just never worked well for my tummy. in other non deep frying ways though, the chickpea flour is so useful..

  15. I had no idea there was a pumpkin shortage. I was just at Trader Joe’s and they had a mountain of them. Of course the next time I’m there, they could all be gone. I really want to try the recipe, it looks awesome! :-)

  16. Our grocery store shelves are barren already too :( I was so sad when I went the other day and found none.. we do have a pumpkin farm within walking distance though and it looks crazy full of orange! I may just need to make huge batches of my own to make me through the winter :)

  17. This sounds great! I recently got some Himalayan pink salt and organic peppercorns and I’ll have to try them out in this recipe. Thanks for sharing!

  18. Our garden has a lot of pumpkins and honestly I am running out of ideas on what to do with it. Thanks to this I have another way of utilizing my pumpkins.

  19. This sounds wonderful! I’m thinking I’ll try butternut squash with this sauce. Good tip on the Asian stores for egg-free wontons. That’s the only place I have ever found them.

  20. Hannah, your raviolis look delicious with the mushroom sauce. I once made the ravioli with the butternut squash, but they turned out so ugly…
    Hope you are having a fantastic week :-)

  21. I got sick earlier in the week and this looks like such delicious comfort food.

  22. My wife brought me home a pumpkin today and the thrill hit me! I have been thinking about pumpkin spiced chai for at least two weeks. Your ravioli look delicious!

  23. These were delicious! I added 4 gloves of garlic, some fresh sage and a big dollop of Tofutti cream cheese to the filling and made a browned “butter” and sage sauce to toss them in, topped with some toasted pine nuts. SO good! I wish I would have had fresh pasta instead of the wonton wrappers though. They were a little thin and didn’t have that pasta look about them. My 11 year old gobbled them up, and I had seconds. Yum-o! Thanks for revivng my love of squash. Mmmmm…and pasta!!

  24. What a perfect fall pasta dish! I need to start cooking with pumpkin asap. :)

  25. Mmm that gravy sounds so good! I love mushrooms and used to make a quick pasta sauce using canned lowfat cream of mushroom soup. This sounds much healthier and much tastier!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out / Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out / Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out / Change )

Google+ photo

You are commenting using your Google+ account. Log Out / Change )

Connecting to %s

Follow

Get every new post delivered to your Inbox.

Join 7,838 other followers