Ingredients: Per 4 servings
- 7 oz pumpkin
- 2 cups milk
- 1 ½ oz butter
- 1 ½ oz all-purpose flour
- 3 eggs
- 3 ½ oz walnuts
- ⅜ oz parsley
- ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
- 3 oz Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
- nutmeg to taste
- salt and pepper to taste
Peel the pumpkin and cut it into pieces (1.2 inches). Put these into a bowl, cover with film perforated at various points, and microwave for about 20 minutes.
Put a small pan over medium heat, add the butter, flour, and milk, and bring to the boil to make a bechamel.
Put the pumpkin into the bechamel and whisk, adding the eggs, Parmesan and nutmeg and then adjust the salt and pepper.
Pour the mixture into 4 throwaway aluminium moulds, previously buttered, put these in a bain-marie and bake for 20-30 minutes at about 180° C.
Put the walnuts, parsley, extra virgin olive oil, salt and pepper in a blender to make some pesto.
When the timbales are cooked, turn them out onto a plate and sprinkle with the walnut pesto made previously.
Pumpkin is a vegetable found throughout most of the world and is capable of growing in various climates and terrains. Precisely for this reason, it is difficult to establish where pumpkin comes from. Although some people sustain that 8,000-year-old pumpkin seeds were found in Mexico, there is no doubt that pumpkins were cultivated by both the Egyptians and Romans two thousand years ago. This contradicts the theory that pumpkin was introduced to Europe immediately after the discovery of America, and that belief that pumpkins were exported by the Europeans to the New World. It is most likely that pumpkins were present in different varieties and characteristics in both continents: in Europe and Asia there were smaller and longer varieties, while America was home to the classic round pumpkin, like the one in Cinderella. The hypothesis that pumpkins were already cultivated on both sides of the Atlantic has been confirmed by one of Christopher Columbus’ travel companions. This gentleman wrote in his diary that he had brought pumpkin seeds back to Europe, having recognized the plant as something he had already seen, and confirming that they pumpkins had been cultivated in Europe prior to the 15th century.
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