Riddle me this: have we gone too far with pumpkin-spiced everything? Forget pumpkin spiced lattes, now anything and everything comes in a pumpkin option during this time of year. On a recent grocery trip I took note of some seasonal items that involved pumpkin. Here’s a partial list: cream cheese, coffee creamer and coffee, beer, cider, protein powder, Hershey kisses, M&M’s, Jello, butter, potato chips, hand soap, marshmallows, cookies, bagels, peanut butter and pasta. Partial list, folks, partial list.
My advice? Don’t get sucked into the pulp, and instead embrace the wonderful savory uses for the famous orange gourd.
Try one of these pairings:
Pumpkin Risotto with sparkling Moscato – It’s thick, hearty, creamy and oh-so-dreamy. Pumpkin risotto is a delicious combination of Arborio rice, cheese, chicken stock, wine and often sage. It positively warms you from the inside out. All you need to serve with it to make a memorable meal is a glass of Ponte 2014 Moscato. It is crisp, a little sweet and is perfect for a heavier dish like risotto.
Pumpkin Ravioli with Vermentino – Ravioli, tortellini…any pasta stuffed with pumpkin will do. Try to use fresh sheets of pasta, but if you can’t there are a ton of great frozen, pumpkin pasta options available this time of year. My favorite way to “sauce” these is with some brown butter and sage, then generously shower with parmesan cheese. This is such a simple dish to put together but tastes super fancy. A light, fruity white wine like Ponte 2014 Vermentino is the way to go. Red drinkers might like something with good spice to compliment the sage, such as Zinfandel.
Pumpkin Soup with Chardonnay – A steaming bowl of pumpkin soup on a chilly night…it just doesn’t get more “fall” than that. I make mine with heavy cream so it’s a little indulgent, but, hey, anything worth doing is worth doing right, yes? There are a ton of ways to do pumpkin soup, however. Some recipes add bacon, others include apples and sage. The possibilities are endless, but I must insist on a great, lightly oaked Chardonnay with pumpkin soup. Ponte’s 2014 Chardonnay is out of this world. More and more with our guests it’s becoming “the Chardonnay that made me drink Chardonnay again.”
–What’s your favorite way to enjoy pumpkin this season?