Cheesy Stuffed Butternut Pumpkin

 

This nourishing roasted butternut pumpkin recipe is stuffed with spinach, orzo pasta, and melted gruyere cheese. With flavours of sage and a hint of nutmeg, this recipe is a new version of mac and cheese all while packed with vegetables.

INGREDIENTS

  • 1 butternut pumpkin

  • 1 brown onion

  • 2 garlic cloves, crushed

  • 6-8 fresh sage leaves (thinly chopped)

  • 1 ½ tsp fresh thyme leaves

  • ½ tsp nutmeg

  • 200g gruyere cheese

  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese

  • 1 cup milk

  • 1 ½ tbsp cornflour

  • Olive oil for cooking

  • 1 cup cooked orzo/risoni pasta

  • ½ bunch silverbeet (substitute with kale or baby spinach)

Garnish

  • 1 tbsp fresh parsley chopped

  • 1 tbsp toasted pine nuts

METHOD

  1. Preheat the oven to 180°C

  2. Slice the pumpkin in half, drizzle a little olive oil over a baking tray and place the pumpkin halves flesh side down. Bake for 45 – 50 minutes depending on how big your pumpkin is. Once cooked, when easily poked with a fork, remove it from the oven. If the pumpkin is overcooked it will start to lose shape and collapse, so you want to pull it out of the oven before this.

  3. While the pumpkin is cooking, the stuffing can be made; heat up a large deep pot on medium heat, add a drizzle of olive oil, followed by the diced onion, along with the crushed garlic. Sauté until the onions become transparent. Add the fresh herbs and stir through.

  4. Add the silverbeet to the pot, roughly chopped; stir through until it wilts down.

  5. In a mixing jug, add the cornflour and a dash of the milk, stir to combine, and remove lumps. Add the remaining milk and stir through. Add the nutmeg and keep stirring while over medium heat to prevent any lumps forming while the sauce thickens.

  6. Once the sauce thickens add ¾ of the gruyere cheese and stir through.

  7. Gently flip the pumpkin slices over and scrap out ½ of the pumpkin. Be careful not to cut through the skin. Add the scrapped out pumpkin to the pot and stir through.

  8. Add the cooked orzo pasta to the pot and stir through.

  9. Fill the pumpkin halves with the stuffing mixture, there may be leftover filling that can be put in the freezer for stuffed vegetables for another meal. Sprinkle over the top the remanding gruyere cheese followed by the parmesan cheese.

  10. Bake in the oven for 25-30 minutes or until the cheese has melted and started to brown nicely.

  11. Serve with chopped fresh parsley and toasted pine nuts sprinkled over the top.

 

Serve: 4

Prep / cook time: 1:15 hr

 

Recipe, styling and photography by Bonnie Coumbe. See her site here & Instagram here.