Pumpkin Everything!!!!

Delectable Pumpkin Recipes to Add to Your Fall Entertaining Rotation

By Anne Valgoi

Cover and Above Photo(s) taken by Lori Shield @ldsgram

Happy Fall Y’all !  Hailing from Vermont and presently living in Atlanta, the autumn season is my favorite time of year.  I love the foliage and the delicious seasonal food options.  I was asked to write about “all things pumpkin” this month so I opted to reach out to my girl tribe for some assistance with tried and true recipes.  They did not disappoint! 

My sister-in-law, Lori Davis Shield, shared with me a new savory fall recipe that she and my brother recently prepared.  The dish has an amazing array of flavors and is absolutely scrumptious.  I highly recommend it and am sure that it will become a requested favorite for the family (and it is simpler to prepare than it actually looks). 

Pumpkin Cheese Stuffed Pasta Shell Bolognese Bake 

(from Tieghan Gerard at

Prep time: 20 minutes

Cook time: 40 minutes

Total time: 1 hour

Calories: 492 kcal


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, chopped

¾ pound lean ground chicken or beef

2 cloves garlic, minced or grated

1 tablespoon dried oregano

2 teaspoons fennel seed

2 teaspoons smoked paprika

1 pinch crushed red pepper flakes

kosher salt and black pepper

1 (24 ounce) jar marinara sauce

1 cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio or Sauvignon Blanc

1 pound jumbo shells

 1 (14 ounce) can pumpkin puree

2-3 cups shredded fontina cheese

¼ cup crumbled blue cheese (optional)

2 tablespoons chopped fresh sage

¼ teaspoon ground nutmeg

½ cup provolone cheese, cubed


  1. Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.  Lightly grease a 9 X 13inch baking dish.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large pot over high heat.  When the oil shimmers, add the onion and cook 3-5 minutes.  Add the meat, garlic, oregano, fennel, paprika, red pepper flakes, and a pinch of salt and pepper.  Cook until browned all over, about 5 minutes.  Reduce the heat to low, add the marinara and wine.  Simmer for 15 minutes or until the sauce thickens slightly.  Taste and adjust seasonings as needed. 
  3. Meanwhile, bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat and boil the pasta until al dente according to package directions. 
  4. In a medium bowl, combine the pumpkin, fontina, blue cheese (if using), sage, nutmeg, and a pinch each of salt and pepper.
  5. To assemble, spoon ¾ of the Bolognese sauce into the bottom of the prepared baking dish.  Working with one pasta shell at a time, spoon about 1 tablespoon of the pumpkin cheese mix into each shell, placing the filled shell into the baking dish as you go.  Spoon the remaining Bolognese sauce over top of the shells.  Add the provolone.
  6. Transfer the baking dish to the oven and bake 20-25 minutes or until the cheese has melted and is lightly browned on top.  Serve topped with fresh oregano. 

To make vegetarian: just omit the meat.  No other changes needed.

To make ahead: complete the recipe through step 5.  Let cool, store in the fridge until ready to serve!


Another favorite pumpkin recipe was shared upon request by my close friend, Cheryl McDougall and she received it from a dear friend in Seattle about 30 years ago.  Cheryl usually makes this delicious dessert seasonally for our ladies’ tennis team.  It is a definite crowd pleaser- even our tennis opponents have raved over this sweet treat. 


Pumpkin Cake Rolls


3 eggs, slightly beaten

1 cup sugar

2/3 cup solid pack pumpkin

1 teaspoon lemon juice

¾ cup flour

1 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon ginger

1 cup chopped pecans

1 teaspoon nutmeg

½ teaspoon salt


  1. Mix cake ingredients (except for pecans), until well blended.  Pour into jellyroll pan, (or approx. 11 X 16 pan with 1 inch edge).
  2. Sprinkle top with pecans.
  3. Bake at 375 degrees F for 10 minutes.
  4. Prepare linen or cotton dish towel with sprinkled powdered sugar.
  5. When cake is done, turn into towel.
  6. Roll up carefully, and somewhat tightly, the short way.
  7. Cool for two hours, unroll and frost.



     1 cup powdered sugar

     4 Tablespoons softened butter

     8 oz softened cream cheese

     Beat ingredients until smooth.  Spread on cake.  Re-roll and refrigerate        

     overnight.  Optional: sprinkle top with more chopped pecans.

     Slice and serve.  Delish!


My husband’s sister and her husband founded Vermont Rolling Pins and Company several years ago. Cyndi and Ken Freeman are true artisans and are long time Vermonters as well.  Ken is a skilled wood turner and is passionate about his talent.  He individually lathes the wooden rolling pins to perfection.   Each has a different style, shape, and wood grain as shown on their website

Additionally, every month (prior to Covid-19), my sister in law, Cyndi, would host a Pie Club Meeting in her beautiful Vermont home.  The small group would traditionally gather in her cozy kitchen and prepare mouth-watering delectable.   Below is one of their special recipes which they graciously shared with us. 

Above Photo taken by Cyndi Freeman


Delicious Deep Dish Pumpkin Pie

from Vermont Rolling Pins & Co.

Shortcrust Pastry

1 ½ cups All Purpose flour

2 Tablespoons confectioner’s sugar

Dash of salt

12 Tablespoons unsalted butter

1 chilled egg

Water if necessary, a tablespoon at a time


  1. Using a bowl or food processor, mix dry ingredients
  2. Cut chilled butter, lengthwise twice and then cut into cubes.
  3. Mix with a pastry blender or pulse with a food processor.
  4. Beat the chilled egg and mix in with ingredients.
  5. After a light mixing, check pastry by holding a handful and squeezing.  When squeezed, does the pastry hold together?  If yes, do not add water.  If it does not, add a tablespoon of water at a time, until it holds together. Be careful not to make your pastry too wet. 
  6. Knead pastry on the counter lightly, only to have it form a ball.
  7. Wrap and place in refrigerator for at least 30 minutes.

Pumpkin Filling

1 small pie pumpkin

8 oz whipped cream cheese (room temperature)

¾ cup of light brown sugar

¼ teaspoon salt

2 eggs, slightly beaten

1 pint whipping cream (1 cup for filling and 1 cup for whipped cream to top pie)

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

½ teaspoon ground cinnamon 

½ teaspoon, grated whole nutmeg


  1.  Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
  2. Prick your pie pumpkin with a fork and place it in microwave for about 3 minutes.  Microwaving your pie pumpkin makes it easier to cut lengthwise from top to bottom.
  3. Remove seeds.
  4. Place parchment paper on a lipped cookie sheet and then place halved pie pumpkin, flesh down.
  5. Roast for 35-45 minutes, until you can put a fork easily through.
  6. Remove from oven and let cool.
  7. Roll pie dough out and place in deep dish.  Make preferred edging. Then saran wrap and place in freezer.
  8. Blind bake the pie crust on the lower rack of oven.  Blind bake by placing foil or even saran wrap on bottom and sides of your crust and fill with rice, beans, or pie weights.  Let bake for ten minutes. Remove the weights and the foil or wrap.
  9. Make filling by beating the cream cheese by hand, with a hand mixer or a food processor.
  10.  Spoon out two cups of mashed pumpkin and mix with cream cheese.
  11.  Then add the other ingredients and mix. Remember only 1 cup of the whipping cream.  The rest is for the topping!
  12.  Pour filling into pie crust and bake for another 40-50 minutes at 350 degrees F.
  13.  Prick middle with a fork to see if it has set.  No liquid should be seen on fork.  When pie has set, take out of oven, and let cool.
  14.  Whip the remainder of the whipping cream until it peaks.
  15.  Let pie cool and slice and place a dollop of whip cream on top. 

I have more pumpkin recipes from my girl tribe including my grandson’s favorite “pumpkin pancakes” for those relaxing fall Saturday mornings and a delicious steamy pumpkin soup.  Perhaps I will share in the future…  

For now, enjoy and happy eating!





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