Autumn is pumpkin time!
Every year, as soon as the first leaves turn yellow or red and the winds blows colder, I know it is finally time for pumpkin-based recipes. This bright orange vegetable is indeed one of my all-time favorites: I just love its mild sweetness and creamy texture! I enjoy pumpkin throughout all the colder season, but I like to cook it especially during gray and gloomy days, when I can stay inside watching the world passing by at the window. This roasted pumpkin and Blue Cheese with Walnuts creates that perfect late-autumn cozy feel.
Roasted Pumpkin and Blue Cheese in Italy
This roasted pumpkin recipe is a classic combination from northern Italy, enjoyed particularly in Piedmont and Lombardy’s country side. In fact, those northwestern regions are where the best pumpkins are harvested and where the most famous Italian blue cheeses are produced. Just to name one, this area is where Gorgonzola DOP originates.
It’s a very simple dish, fast to make yet rather delicious. The natural sweetness from the pumpkin pairs perfectly with the salty and pungent flavor of blue cheese, and the crunchy walnut pieces are the icing on the cake. In fact, even though this roasted pumpkin is supposed to be a side dish, I love it so much that sometimes I eat it as a main!
5 minutes of prep
If you don’t have a lot of time to spare, this recipe is perfect for you: it won’t take you more than 5 minutes to prepare, and then the oven will do the rest, I promise you!
For this recipe I’ve used Italian Gorgonzola Dolce because it’s exceptionally creamy and it melts beautifully, but you can use any kind of blue cheese that you like, from Roquefort, to Stilton, to Castelmagno. If you are not a great fan of blue-veined varieties, you could even replace them with other kinds of cheeses, like Camembert, Brie or even fresh goat cheese.
Other traditional Italian recipes by Giorgia Fontana:
Tomato Basil Pasta Sauce – Spaghetti alla Portofino
Risotto Radicchio and Gorgonzola
Roasted Pumpkin with Blue Cheese and Walnuts (Italy)
- 1 medium pumpkin, around 3.5 pounds (I’ve used delica variety)
- 2 tbsp extra virgin olive oil
- 2 sprigs fresh thyme
- Salt, to taste
- Black pepper, to taste
- 8 ounces Gorgonzola Dolce, cut into 1/2-inch cubes (less if you are using a more pungent blue cheese)
- 1/4 cup walnut halves, roughly chopped
- Preheat oven at 400 F.
- Wash and clean your pumpkin. Remove seeds and skin (if you have an organic pumpkin you can leave the skin on, it’s really tasty). Cut into one-inch wedges.
- Place pumpkin slices on the baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil and season with salt, pepper and fresh thyme.
- Cook for 25 minutes or until the pumpkin is tender. When it’s ready, you should be able to easily pierce the wedges with a fork.
- Take the baking tray out of the oven, add blue cheese and walnut pieces, put it back to cook just 3 to 5 minutes, until the blue cheese is starting to melt.
- Serve immediately.
How many does this serve as a side dish?
Depending on how hungry people are I would say 4-6. Four of us devoured it as a side dish, but that was just because it was so good!