Pumpkin Sformato with Fonduta and Frisee

Shamelessly stolen from Mario Batali.  Thank you!

1 pound wedge of pumpkin
2 cups bechamel sauce (purchased or home- made*)
4 egg yolks
2 eggs   (I just used four whole eggs)
1/4 cup Parmigiano-Reggiano + 2 TBL same
1/4 cup bread crumbs
1/2 cup milk
4 oz Fontina cheese, grated
1 head frissee, or other frilly, bitter lettuce (you won’t need the whole head)
1 oz olive oil
1/2 oz red wine vinetar
1 Bundt pan and a large pan to use as bain marie

Preheat oven to 375 F

Wrap pumpkin in foil and bake 1 hour.  Remove and allow to cool.  Cut pumpkin into 1″ cubes and place in mixing bowl (I whizzed it all up in food processor after boiling briefly instead).  Add bechamel sauce, eggs, and 1/4 cup parmigiano and stir together.  Lightly butter the Bundt pan and dust with bread crumbs.  Pour the batter into the Bundt pan and place in the bain marie.  Put  hot water in the bain marie to a height of about half the Bundt pan (if you can, otherwise as close as possible to that).  Cook in the oven for an hour and fifteen minutes, or until a toothpick stuck in the center comes out clean.  Allow to cool and unmold on a cutting board.

Meanwhile, heat the milk over low heat until foam forms.  Add the Fontina and 2 tbl of grated Parmigiano cheese and stir to combine.  Dress the frisee with the oil and vinegar and spread on a pretty serving plate.  Cut the sformata into slices, arrange on the plate and dress with the fonduta.  It’s so pretty – I wish I’d taken a picture of ours – and it tastes just as good as it looks.

* Bechamel sauce, sometimes called ‘Besciamella’.  I’m a huge fan of making it myself – it’s easy, and you can adjust the amount of flour you add to make your sauce thicker or thinner.  The recipe above uses a rather thin bechamel – Mario Batali’s recipe (and many other people’s too) is as follows:

5 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/4 cup flour
3 cups milk
2 teaspoons salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

In a medium saucepan, heat the butter until melted. Add the flour and whisk until smooth. Cook over medium heat until golden brown, about 6 to 7 minutes. (You want to cook the flour and butter for a while to get rid of the floury taste in you sauce.) In a separate pan, heat the milk until just about to boil. Slowly add the milk to the butter mixture 1 cup at a time, whisking continuously until very smooth, and bring to a boil. Cook 30 seconds longer and remove from the heat. Season with salt and nutmeg. Yield: 3 cups

2 thoughts on “Pumpkin Sformato with Fonduta and Frisee”

  1. Sounds yummy and time consuming…

    • It did take a while… but it made quite a bit, and it really was delicious. There are a couple of shortcuts you could make – buy tinned pumpkin, for instance, and buy Bechamella – I don’t know how different the final outcome would be.

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