I am a fan of Italian flavors… and this recipe fits very well with the flavors of autumn. We do not have autumn here in Puerto Rico, but pumpkin is a favorite of mine and I wanted to do something that would highlight the flavor and nutrition of the pumpkin. Plus, I still had some pumpkin seeds in my fridge I wanted to use up…
1 ½ cups of pumpkin, peeled and cubed 4 tbs quick cooking polenta ½ cup of water ½ cup of milk ½ tsp salt ¼ tsp pepper ½ cup Pecorino Romano cheese, grated ¼ cup pumpkin seeds, toasted – as garnish
- First we steam the pumpkin… place in a steamer for about 10-15 minutes to cook thoroughly. After the pumpkin is done, mash it well and place it in a colander lined with a coffee filter or a paper towel and let the moisture of the pumpkin drain out a bit. This can be done well in advance before moving on to the rest of the steps.
- Then we make the polenta… I heat the water, milk and salt in a medium pot and bring to a boil. Add the polenta while stirring to avoid getting lumps. Reduce the heat to medium-low and continue stirring until the desired consistency, which is like a smooth cream of wheat. I’ll be honest; I follow the instructions on the polenta package I buy. If the instructions on your package are different, follow the instructions on your package, but what I do is to replace ½ the water the recipe calls for milk – makes a creamier polenta, in my opinion.
- When the polenta reached the desired consistency, add the drained pumpkin puree, the grated cheese and season with pepper. Stir well for the cheese to melt and the pumpkin to combine well with the polenta cream.
- Serve warm and sprinkle with the toasted pumpkin seeds.
Great vegetarian alternative for Thanksgiving lunch or dinner… don’t you think?