It seems like everywhere you look, pumpkins of all sizes are just waiting to be bought, used for fall decorations or eaten using an endless number of delicious recipes. Here’s a few to try out this fall.

Pumpkin Queso Fundido

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Ingredients

• (1) 2-3 pound sugar pumpkin

• 8 ounces dried chorizo, diced

• (1) jalapeno pepper (remove seeds for less heat), chopped

• 1 4-ounce can chopped green chiles

• ½ teaspoon ground cumin

• ¼ teaspoon cayenne pepper

• 3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

• 1 ½ cups low-sodium chicken broth

• 2 cups shredded mozzarella or Oaxaca cheese

• 1 cup shredded Monterey jack cheese

• Chopped fresh cilantro for topping

• Tortilla chips for serving

Directions

 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slice off the top 1-1/2 inches of the pumpkin and discard. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp.

 Heat the chorizo in a medium pot over medium-high heat until the fat begins to render, about 5 minutes. Add the jalapeno, green chiles, cumin and cayenne and cook, stirring, until the jalapeno softens, about 2 minutes. Stir in the flour and cook, stirring, until the flour is slightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the chicken broth and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to medium and stir in the cheeses.

 Cook, stirring occasionally, until the cheese melts and the mixture is creamy, about 3 more minutes. Place the pumpkin in a small baking dish and fill the pumpkin with the cheese mixture. Add 1 inch of boiling water to the baking dish. Cover loosely with foil and bake until the pumpkin is tender, about 1 hour, 20 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until the cheese is golden and bubbly, 20 to 25 more minutes. Let cool 5 to 10 minutes. Sprinkle with cilantro and serve with tortilla chips.

Pasta with Pumpkin and Sausage

Recipe courtesy of Rachael Ray

Ingredients

• 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, plus 1 tablespoon

• 1 pound bulk sweet Italian sausage

• 4 cloves garlic, cracked and chopped

• 1 medium onion, finely chopped

• 1 bay leaf, fresh or dried

• 4 to 6 sprigs sage leaves, cut into chiffondade, about 2 tablespoons

• 1 cup dry white wine

• 1 cup chicken stock, canned or paper container

• 1 cup canned pumpkin

• ½ cup heavy cream

• 1/8 teaspoon ground cinnamon

• ½ teaspoon ground nutmeg, ground or freshly grated

• Coarse salt or black pepper

• 1 pound penne rigate, cooked to al dente

• Romano or Parmigiano for grating

Directions

 Heat a large, deep nonstick skillet over medium high heat. Add 1 tablespoon of olive oil to the pan and brown the sausage in it. Transfer sausage to paper towel lined plate. Drain fat from skillet and return pan to the stove. Add the remaining tablespoon oil, and then the garlic and onion. Saute 3 to 5 minutes until the onions are tender.

 Add bay leaf, sage, and wine to the pan. Reduce wine by half, about 2 minutes. Add stock and pumpkin and stir to combine, stirring sauce until it comes to a bubble. Return sausage to pan, reduce heat, and stir in cream. Season the sauce with the cinnamon and nutmeg, and salt and pepper, to taste. Simmer mixture 5 to 10 minutes to thicken sauce.

 Return drained pasta to the pot you cooked it in. Remove the bay leaf from sauce and pour the sausage pumpkin sauce over pasta. Combine sauce and pasta and toss over low heat for 1 minute. Garnish the pasta with lots of shaved cheese and sage leaves.

 Serve pumpkin sausage pasta with pumpernickel or whole grain bread and your favorite salad.

Spicy Pumpkin and Collards

Recipe courtesy of Food Network Kitchen

Ingredients

• (2) 2- to 3-pound sugar pumpkins

• 4 tablespoons unsalted butter

• 1 small onion, diced

• 1 plum tomato, diced

• 1 Scotch bonnet chile pepper, seeded and finely chopped

• 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme

• 1 clove garlic, chopped

• 4 scallions, chopped

• 1 pound frozen chopped collard greens, thawed

• Salt

• 1 cup evaporated milk

• Pinch of freshly grated nutmeg

• 4 tablespoons breadcrumbs (preferable panko)

• 1 ½ cups shredded sharp white cheddar cheese

• 2 tablespoons grated parmesan cheese

Directions

 Preheat the oven to 375 degrees F. Slice off the top 1-1/2 inches of the pumpkins and discard. Scoop out the seeds and stringy pulp.

 Melt 2 tablespoons butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, tomato, chile pepper, thyme and garlic and cook, stirring, until the onion is slightly tender, about 5 minutes. Stir in the scallions and collard greens, add 1-1/4 teaspoons salt and cook, stirring, until the greens are slightly tender, about 15 minutes. Stir in the evaporated milk and nutmeg and bring to a gentle boil. Stir in 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs, the cheddar cheese and the remaining 2 tablespoons butter and cook, stirring, until the cheese melts and the mixture thickens slightly, about 2 minutes. Put the pumpkins in a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and fill evenly with the collard greens mixture.

 Toss the remaining 2 tablespoons breadcrumbs with the parmesan. Sprinkle over the filling. Add 1 inch of boiling water to the baking dish. Cover loosely with foil and bake until the pumpkins are tender, about 1 hour, 15 minutes. Remove the foil and continue baking until browned and bubbly on top, about 30 more minutes. Let cool 5 minutes, then scrape the pumpkin flesh and serve with the collards.

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