Roast Pumpkin with Blue Cheese Sauce and Hazelnuts

This dish is extremely delicious: the rich, sweet, soft pumpkin, salty, creamy tang of the sauce and the nuts are dreamy together. It is a version of something that the Italian restaurant Artusi makes with taleggio cheese, pumpkin seeds and pumpkin.

Serves 2 as starter, very easy to scale up

Cut 4 wedges from a small, green-skinned small pumpkin (variety is essential to this being good – I had a Delica pumpkin, which has a soft, velvety texture and sweet, rich flavour). Toss them in oil and a bit of salt. Fry them on a medium heat in a frying pan, turning over when each side has browned, then put in the oven on 180 degrees for around 15-20 minutes, until soft.

Meanwhile, toast hazelnuts in a dry pan (taking care not to burn), then roughly chop or pound a handful of hazelnuts so they are still course.

Also meanwhile, melt 100g of Stichelton or other blue cheese in 150ml of double cream – do this slowly, while stirring, in a saucepan. Season with a pinch of salt.

To serve, place two pumpkin wedges on each plate. Spoon over some cheese sauce, and sprinkle toasted hazelnuts on top.


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