For this recipe I use the Venetian type of pumpkin that I think in the United States is called Green Winter Squash. In Italy we call it Marina di Chioggia, and is chosen for its flavourful flesh. The skin is dark green and the flesh is yellow orange, sweet, quite flowery but not fibrous. It's the best type to make pumpkin gnocchi. In this recipe I decided to mix cooked chestnuts with this squash and push the sweetness to its maximum and serve it with a roasted pork loin cooked with chestnuts. I can also imagine it going really well with Thanksgiving Turkey contrasting with the tangy Cranberry Sauce. —Maria Teresa Jorge
1 1/2 pounds
Green Winter Squash
pre-cooked peeled chestnuts cut in pieces
shallots, chopped finely
chopped parsley leaves for decoration
Pre-heat the oven to 375ºF with rack in the middle.
Cut the squash, peel it, take the seeds out and cut in small cubes.
In a baking tray, put a large piece of parchment paper, add the squash on top with 2 tablespoons of butter and a pinch of salt. Add a rosemary sprig, close the parchment paper and bake for 15 minutes. Open the parchment paper and let the squash cook for a further 15 minutes to let the excess water evaporate. Make sure you don't let the squash burn on the edges. When cooked discard the rosemary.
In a pan, melt the butter and add the very finely chopped shallots until translucent. Add the cooked and peeled chestnuts cut in pieces, stir for 2 minutes over medium low heat, add the roasted squash, stir for 2 more minutes.
Bring the milk to a boil, add it to the vegetables and bring it back to a boil. Add the remaining 6 tablespoons of butter, season with salt and mix. Process the vegetables with an immersion hand held blender or a food processor until you have a very smooth purée.
Put back over low heat, add the all spice and nutmeg. If the purée is too thick, thin it by adding a little extra hot milk. mixing with a spatula vigorously.
Check the seasoning. Serve hot, sprinkle with all spice and chopped parsley.