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Leftover canned pumpkin?

I have a small amount of canned pumpkin left over from some muffins that I made this week. I have this idea of making some kind of pumpkin creamy bechamel sauce to go with some fresh cheese-filled canneloni I bought at the italian market.

i was planning on sauteeing a little onion and garlic, adding flour to make the roux and then adding milk, but what kind of herbs or spices should i add to this?

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  1. Wow - I don't know but it sounds incredible already! I'd like to watch and see what others suggest too. :)

    1. I think sage would be nice with your idea...fried sage leaves for garnish
      believe it or not Rachel Ray did some kind of pasta sauce with pumpkin recently, it was more asian-inspired with almost a satay kind of base (peanut butter, tamari).

      1. Don't bother with the flour and milk (no need to make a roux to thicken something that is already thick, such as pumpkin puree). Just caramelize the onions in a little OO/butter, then bloom the garlic and a little fresh ginger OR some chopped sage in the hot fat; then add the pumpkin. If it's too thick, dribble in a little half-and-half, to loosen it up. If it still needs a kick, add some Tabasco or black pepper. Let me know how it comes out.

        1. Thanks for your suggestions, everyone! Now I'm going to raid the pantry to see what I've got. I'll post my results :)

          1. I am not an experienced expert on Italian recipes for savory pumpkin dishes, but I have read quite a few of them (with great curiosity) and I find that they generally include such herbs and spices as chopped onion, minced garlic, oregano, nutmeg, cayenne pepper, paprika, pimiento, sweet pepper, parsley, and of course - even though they're not on the herbs and spice list, Olive Oil and Balsamic Vinegar. Pancetta and roasted pine nuts are also included in many of the recipes I've read using pumpkin in savory Italian fashion.
            OK course, there's always that "blended Italian herb" ingredient, but I've never been able to come up with a strict definition for what that is.
            P.S. Looks like I missed the deadline for entry by five minutes.

            1. Again, thanks to all for your suggestions! I ended up making the bechamel like I intended to. Sauteed some onion and garlic in a little butter and olive oil, added 2 tbsps of flour, then added milk. While the milk simmered, I added some rosemary and tarragon, which is what I had on hand. The rosemary gave the sauce a nice "autumn" flavor while the tarragon played on the sweetness of the pumpkin. I then folded in the pureed pumpkin, and that was it! I didn't have enough pumpkin to only use that as a sauce, so i figured with the becchamel i could stretch it a bit.

              Poured a little on the baking dish, layered the cheese canneloni,poured more on top and during the last few minutes of baking, sprinkled parmesan on top for a little crisp crust. It came out delicious! Next time I may add some pancetta or sausage for more flavor, but for a last minute sauce, it came out great!

              1 Reply
              1. re: jessicam29

                Oh, you're making me want to whip out a butternut squash canneloni recipe I have in some cookbook somewhere...thanks for helping me remember it. When I have leftover pumpkin, I tend to feed it to my cat, but your solution is much more appetizing!

              2. I pulled up this thread because its that time again! I made pumpkin muffins again and I'm left with about 1/3 can of pumpkin. Let's see what I come up with this time. I'm thinking cheese tortellini with sage pumpkin sauce.

                6 Replies
                1. re: jessicam29

                  Recently tried some leftover canned pumpkin in my yogurt ... mixed with a little maple syrup and cinnamon...really great!

                  1. re: jessicam29

                    If you're not only looking for savory suggestions....I like to add canned pumpkin to homemade pancake batter with some corresponding spices. It's delicious.

                    1. re: eamcd

                      That sounds delicious! What ratio do you use of pumpkin? I use a high quality pancake mix from Williams Sonoma. Can I add pumpkin to this?

                      1. re: jessicam29

                        Add the pumpkin to your liquids before mixing with dry ingredients. Try replacing half the milk or buttermilk with pumpkin, but you may need to add back in an extra tablespoon or two of milk or buttermilk, so that the batter will still pour without spreading too much. It may take a little finessing, and you may want to let the batter stand a few minutes, as the pumpkin is high in fiber.

                        1. re: amyzan

                          I don't cut out that much of the liquid actually -- just hold back a little of the milk to start with. I do add a little extra baking powder to help lift the heavier batter. Once you combine the wet and dry ingredients you can adjust to add more of the "reserved" milk to get the right batter texture. I let these stay denser than "regular" pancakes though. I don't see why you couldn't add it to your mix. I just wing most pancakes now.

                    2. I made pumpkin bechamel last night again to serve with whole wheat penne pasta. Caramelized a lot of onion, sauteed some bacon, made a roux in the bacon fat with flour & milk, added salt, pepper, spices, then folded in the pumpkin, onions and bacon. Delicious!!

                      1. I made pumpkin walnut pancakes yesterday that used about 1/2 can. They were excellent. I did up the spices a bit and stirred in the walnuts rather than sprinkling them:


                        1. stir it into a soup for a nice creamy texture and wonderful flavor.

                          Believe it or not, curry marries extraordinarily well with pumpkin, especially creamy dishes. I used to have a pumpkin soup recipe that was made with sauteed onions, a roux, a dash of ginger, and a healthy dose of curry powder. Yum.

                          1. I've done the pumpkin peanut butter thing mentioned above and it's very good. I've also added a small amount of pureed pumpkin to tomato sauce and used it on pizza/pasta - it just adds a little sweetness and body without tasting "pumpkiny" - a great way to use it up if you're all pumpkined out after Thanksgiving but don't want to waste food!