Fall’s Best Pumpkin Recipes from Chef Joel Gamoran

best pumpkin recipes
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It’s that time of year again. The leaves are changing, the liquor we’re drinking is getting darker, and jack-o’-lanterns are slowly appearing on stoops and porches across the country. But pumpkins aren’t just for carving—as one of the most delicious and nutritious fall foods, they’re great for eating too. Pumpkins are rich in carotenoids—known to strengthen the immune system—and beta-carotene, which is a powerful antioxidant and anti-inflammatory agent. Not to mention they’re super great for eye health, full of fiber and contain the vitamins zinc and potassium.

To snag some of the best pumpkin recipes to make at home this season, we hit up Chef Joel Gamoran for inspiration. Gamoran is the Senior Resident Chef at Sur La Table’s Hell Kitchen store in New York City where he teaches cooking classes to make culinary dreams a reality for customers year round. He’s an alumnus of the Culinary Institute of America, Culinary Institute of Florence, and University of Connecticut, and has made countless television appearances. Check out some of Sur La Table’s signature recipes he features during in-store classes to fully embrace the season before the last leaf falls.

Pumpkin Ravioli with Sage-Brown Butter Sauce

Yields: 4 servings

The sweetness of the pumpkin filling complements the richness of the brown butter sauce. You can substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin if you prefer. You can also make a double batch of ravioli and freeze them in an airtight container for up to one month.

For the filling:

  • 1 small (2 pound) sugar pumpkin, trimmed, cut in half, seeds removed
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, cubed
  • 1 large shallot, finely minced
  • 1 cup finely grated Parmesan cheese
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper

1 recipe Fresh Pasta Dough (recipe follows)

For the sauce:

  • 1/2 cup (1 stick) unsalted butter
  • 2 tablespoons sherry vinegar
  • 2 tablespoons coarsely chopped fresh sage


To make ravioli filling: Preheat oven to 400°F and place a rack in the center. Arrange pumpkin, cut side down, on a parchment-lined, rimmed baking sheet. Place in oven and roast until the pumpkin is tender when pierced with a paring knife–about 45 to 50 minutes. Remove from oven and allow pumpkin to cool. Using a spoon, scrape the roasted pumpkin flesh into a potato ricer and rice the pumpkin into a large bowl. Place butter in a large skillet and heat over medium heat until butter foams. When foaming subsides, add shallots and cook, stirring frequently until soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Remove from heat and add shallot mixture and grated Parmesan cheese to pumpkin, stir well to combine. Taste and adjust seasoning with salt and pepper.

To make the ravioli: Lay one rolled out pasta sheet on a lightly floured work surface. Measure 2 inches in from one end of the pasta sheet and 2 inches down from the top edge and place 2 teaspoons of filling on that spot. Continue to drop 2 teaspoons of the filling, spaced 2 inches apart, until you come to the end of the pasta sheet. Using a small pastry brush, lightly brush pasta dough around and between the filling mounds with water. Lay a second sheet of pasta on top and press down around the filling to press out any air. Using a fluted pasta cutter or knife, trim the border of the dough and cut between the mounds to create ravioli. Repeat with the remaining pasta sheets and filling.

To make the brown butter sauce: Melt butter in a small skillet over medium-high heat, whisking occasionally, until the milk solids turn golden brown and the butter takes on a nutty aroma. Whisk in sherry vinegar, sage, and taste, adjusting seasoning with salt and pepper.

To cook ravioli: Heat a large pot of water over high heat until boiling. Generously season the water with salt. Add the ravioli and cook until the pasta is al dente and the filling is heated through, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon or spider, remove the ravioli from the water and transfer to serving platter. Spoon the brown-butter sauce over the top, season with salt and pepper and serve.


Fresh Pasta Dough

Yield: 4 servings

Fresh pasta dough is so easy to make, you’ll wonder why you never did before. If you can find Italian “00” flour, use it to make very delicate, yet chewy pasta. If not, bread flour works really well.


  • 2 1/2 cups (12 1/2 ounces) “00” flour, plus more for dusting
  • 1 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 4 large eggs
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

To make dough: Place flour and salt in a large mixing bowl and whisk to combine. Make a “well” in the center of the flour mixture and add eggs and oil. Using your fingers, blend the eggs into the flour mixture, stirring the flour in from the sides of the well and working outwards. When the pasta dough is thoroughly mixed, turn it out on a lightly floured work surface. Knead dough until it is smooth and flexible but not sticky, adding small amounts of flour as needed; about 5 minutes. Shape the dough into a ball and flatten into a disk. Cover with plastic wrap and allow to rest for at least 20 minutes or up to an hour at room temperature.

To roll dough: Secure a pasta machine to the edge of a long countertop. Using a bench scraper, cut the dough into three pieces. Keep extra dough covered in plastic wrap while working with one piece. With a rolling pin, roll the piece of dough into a rough rectangle so that it will fit inside the widest setting of the pasta machine. Roll the dough through the machine, catching it with one hand as you roll with the other. Take the dough and trifold it like a letter. Turn the dough so one open end faces the machine and roll it through on the widest setting again. Fold, turn, and roll once more on the widest setting.

Continue rolling the pasta through the machine without folding, adjusting the rollers to a smaller setting each time, until the desired thickness is reached. If the pasta sheet becomes too large to handle, use a bench scraper to cut it into more manageable lengths and continue rolling. Cut sheets to desired shapes and sizes, toss with semolina flour and set aside covered with a clean kitchen towel. The pasta can be cooked immediately or covered with plastic wrap and refrigerated for up to 24 hours before use.

To cook pasta: Heat a large pot of water over high heat until boiling. Generously season water with salt. Add pasta and stir immediately to prevent the strands from sticking together. Boil until al dente, 2 to 3 minutes. Reserve about a cup of pasta water and drain pasta through a colander. Toss hot pasta with your sauce of choice, using reserved pasta water to thin the mixture and coat the pasta as needed. Garnish as desired and serve immediately.

Roasted Pumpkin, Caramelized Onion and Stilton Tart

Yield: 1 (9-inch) tart

Flaky Tart Dough:

  • 1 1/4 cups all-purpose flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 stick (4 ounces) cold unsalted butter, cut into 1/2 inch cubes
  • 3 to 4 tablespoons ice water

For the filling:

  • 3 large eggs
  • 1/2 cup whole milk
  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 1/8 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt and freshly ground pepper, more to taste
  • 2 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, divided
  • 1 tablespoon unsalted butter
  • 2 medium yellow onions, thinly sliced
  • 2 cups pumpkin, peeled and diced in 1/4-inch pieces
  • 6 ounces stilton or other creamy blue cheese, crumbled
  • 3 tablespoons fresh sage leaves, thinly sliced

Preheat oven to 425°F, with rack positioned in the middle of the oven. Butter a 9-inch tart pan or pie dish, set aside.

To make the pastry: Place flour and salt in a food processor or large mixing bowl. By pulsing or using a pastry blender, cut the butter into the flour until the butter is the size of small peas. Sprinkle ice water, a tablespoon at a time, over the flour mixture. Pulse or stir mixture until large clumps form. When enough water has been added to allow the dough to hold together, transfer to a lightly floured work surface. Gather the dough together to form a ball. Flatten the dough into a disk about 6-inches wide, cover in plastic wrap and refrigerate for 30 minutes before using.

To make the filling: In a large mixing bowl, combine eggs, milk, cream, nutmeg and salt and pepper; whisk to combine and set aside to warm to room temperature. (This will ensure quicker and more even baking.) In a large skillet over medium heat, heat 1 tablespoon each of oil and butter. When foaming subsides, add the onions; cover and cook for 5 minutes, remove lid and sauté until onions are tender and browned, about 10 minutes.

Meanwhile, in a medium bowl, toss the pumpkin with remaining oil and season with salt and pepper. Roast until tender, about 10 minutes, set aside. Reduce oven temperature to 375°F. Generously flour a work surface and place the chilled dough disk on the flour. Dust the top of the dough with flour. Using a rolling pin, roll chilled dough into a circle, turning and flipping the dough as needed with a bench scraper to prevent sticking, until the circle measures 14 inches wide and 1/8-inch thick. Starting at one edge, roll the dough around the rolling pin and transfer to tart pan. Gently press the dough into the bottom and sides of the pan. Use a pair of kitchen scissors to trim the dough so it overhangs the edge of the pan by 1 inch. Fold the overhanging dough under itself around the pan edge, then crimp or form a decorative border. Chill prepared crust while assembling the rest of the ingredients.

To finish and bake: Add caramelized onions and roasted squash to the egg and cream mixture. Stir in stilton and sage; pour filling into prepared crust. Bake tart until golden brown and set in the center, 25 to 30 minutes. Cool on a wire rack for 10 minutes before serving warm or room temperature.

Chocolate Ganache Pumpkin Tart with Gingersnap Crust

Yield: 1 (11-inch) tart

Chocolate and pumpkin is a flavor match that’s made for the holidays. Topped with roasted pumpkins seeds, this tart is a stunner!

For the crust:

  • 1 3/4 cup (about 30) gingersnap cookies
  • 1 tablespoon unbleached all-purpose flour
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted
  • 2 tablespoons light brown sugar
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt

For the filling:

  • 1 (15 ounce) can pumpkin purée
  • 3/4 cup packed light brown sugar
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/8 teaspoon ground cloves
  • 1/4 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla bean paste
  • 8 ounces crème fraiche
  • 3 large eggs

For the chocolate ganache:

  • 1/2 cup heavy whipping cream
  • 6 ounces semisweet chocolate, finely chopped
  • 2 tablespoons unsalted butter, softened
  • 2 tablespoons roasted pepitas (pumpkin seeds) for garnish (optional)

Method: Preheat oven to 375°F. Line a sheet pan with parchment paper. Butter an 11-inch tart pan or 10-inch pie dish. Set aside. In a food processor, pulse the gingersnaps until evenly crushed. Add the flour, melted butter, sugar, and salt; pulse until combined. Press mixture into a buttered tart or pie pan, about 1/8 inch thick. Place tart shell on prepared sheet pan. In the bowl of a stand mixer fitted with a whisk attachment, add pumpkin puree, brown sugar, cinnamon, ginger, cloves, and salt; whip to combine. On medium-low speed, add eggs one at a time, mixing well after each. Add vanilla and crème fraiche; mix until smooth. Pour filling into the prepared crust. Bake until edges are set and a knife inserted into the center comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes. If crust browns too quickly while baking, cover with foil. Let tart cool completely.

For the ganache: In a small saucepan, heat cream over medium-high heat to a simmer. Place chocolate in a medium heatproof bowl and pour hot cream over the chocolate. Let stand for 1 minute. Slowly stir chocolate mixture with a silicone spatula to combine. Add butter and whisk mixture until smooth. Pour onto the cooled pumpkin filling. Lift the tart and swirl it around until the ganache completely covers the filling. Sprinkle with pepitas and chill for 30 minutes to set the chocolate before serving.

All recipes courtesy of the Sur La Table test kitchen. 

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