Pumpkin Tiramisu the Ultimate Fall Dessert

tiramisu

Yes it’s October and we’re deep into all things pumpkin. This pumpkin tiramisu that I’m featuring is perfect for any fall gathering that you might be having. It’s very quick to make, no baking involved, easy for the upcoming holidays and it doesn’t include any raw eggs in the ingredients like the classic tiramisu does.

Espresso soaked layers of store bought lady fingers with just a hint of your favorite liquor, slathered with a pumpkin mascarpone cream mingled with whipped cream and warm spices.

pumpkin dessert

I like making my tiramisu freeform without a pan just layered onto a platter similar to my pistachio tiramisu. If you’re making a larger amount, maybe doubling the recipe it would be best to use a glass pan like a 9×12.

cake presentation

This is such an easy dessert to pull together and fun to make with your kids and grandchildren. You can omit the liquor and decorate the top however you wish.

pumpkin tiramisu loaf

So this fall and the upcoming holiday season you might want to add this twist on the classic tiramisu as a delicious alternative to pumpkin pie!

Pumpkin Tiramisu the Ultimate Fall Dessert
 
A twist on the classic tiramisu and perfect for the fall season.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 package of savoiardi lady fingers or 18 total
  • 8 oz, mascarpone cheese, room temperature
  • ½ cup pumpkin puree, (not pumpkin pie mix)
  • 2 teaspoons pumpkin pie spice
  • ¼ cup brown sugar
  • ½ teaspoon vanilla
  • 1-1/2 cups heavy cream
  • 2 tablespoons white sugar, 1 for the espresso and 1 for the whipped cream
  • 1- ½ cups brewed espresso, cooled down
  • 2 Tablespoons liquor of choice like amaretto, spiced rum, kahlua or you can just leave it out or use less.
  • nuts to garnish the top or a dusting of chocolate
Instructions
  1. Brew your espresso, when cooled pour into a flat bottomed bowl and add the liquor which is optional and 1 tablespoon of the white sugar, mix well to disolve.
  2. TIP: If you open your canned pumpkin puree and you notice a lot of moisture and it's watery I like to briefly cook it on the stove in a pot or a skillet on medium low with constant stirring so it doesn’t stick or burn. Don't overcook it, just let it release some of the liquid and then let it completely cool down making sure you yield ½ cup puree.
  3. In a large bowl add the room temp mascarpone cheese, brown sugar, pumpkin pie spice, vanilla and the pumpkin puree, with a hand mixer just mix till blended, don't over mix, mascarpone can curdle.
  4. In a small bowl add the heavy cream and the 1 remaining tablespoon of white sugar, beat til you reach medium peaks.
  5. Fold the whipped cream into the mascarpone pumpkin mixture until well incorporated.
  6. Have your flat bottomed platter ready for plating and one by one quickly dip the lady fingers into the espresso, don't let them get soggy just a quick dip will do.
  7. When you have 6 in a straight row smear on a generous layer of the pumpkin cream, then repeat with next layer of dipped ladyfingers on top of the others, more pumpkin cream on top of that then one last layer.
  8. All together you should have three layers using 18 lady fingers in total.
  9. Make sure the top layer is nicely covered with the pumpkin. cream and then garnish with chopped nuts or a dusting of chocolate or a sprinkling of pumpkin spice.
  10. Then into the fridge it goes so the flavors can meld together either overnight or at least for four hours.
  11. Serve in slices.
  12. You can get 6 to 8 slices depending how big you cut them.

 

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Spaghetti Squash with Browned Butter, Parmesan and Crispy Sage

parm squash

Autumn is here and squash season has arrived and I could honestly say I haven’t met a squash that I didn’t like. There’s a huge variety of squash to choose from, all packed with vitamins and minerals which makes them a healthy food option as well as being low in carbs and gluten free.

One of my favorite types of squash is spaghetti squash, it can become a hearty entree for lunch or dinner or the perfect side dish which I’m featuring here.

 

spaghetti squash

One thing I’ve learned from experience is not to over cook my squash in the oven, if you over cook it you won’t have those nice distinct strands that are so characteristic of spaghetti squash, so I like to cook mine a little al dente otherwise it can become one big pile of soft mush.

You’ll be cooking the strands a little more anyway, sometimes in the oven or like I did in this case on top of the stove.

cooked squash

It looks just like spaghetti doesn’t it?

brown butter and sage

You’ll need just a few ingredients, unsalted butter, garlic, fresh sage, freshly grated parmesan or even Granna Padano and your favorite toasted nuts, I like using hazelnuts for this.

toasted sage and hazelnuts

Browned butter has a nutty, deep caramelized flavor which enhances any dish something that regular butter just can’t do.

squash and parmesan

I’ve made this many times as a side to a light protein and it always gets rave reviews.

Or you can just grab a fork and eat it as is!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Spaghetti Squash with Browned Butter, Parmesan and Crispy Sage
 
Take advantage of squash season with this side dish or entree of creamy and flavorful spaghetti squash
Author:
Ingredients
  • 1 large spaghetti squash
  • 1 stick of unsalted butter
  • 1 large handful of fresh sage
  • 3 finely crushed or grated garlic cloves
  • a showering of grated parmesan as much as you like
  • toasted hazelnuts split in half
  • olive oil
  • salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Cut the spaghetti squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds best you can, you'll also be able to remove them after it's roasted.
  2. Drizzle the cut squash with some olive oil, salt and pepper.
  3. Add parchment paper to a rimmed sheet pan and place the squash cut side down.
  4. Roast at 375 til the tip of a knife goes in easily, usually around 40 minutes but it really depends on the size of the squash. ( I once went a little over an hour and the squash was limp and mushy and the strands clumped together.) You're looking for an al dente feel.
  5. When squash is done cooking flip over to cut side up and let the 2 halves cool down.
  6. When squash is cool, take a fork and rake the squash to get all the strands making sure you get all the bottom and sides, then set aside the "spaghetti".
  7. FOR THE BROWNED BUTTER SAUCE
  8. On medium heat place the butter in a shallow fry pan, once the butter starts to foam add the garlic and sage, once it turns dark tan and smells nutty it's finished and the sage should be somewhat crispy, then add in the toasted nuts.
  9. You can remove the garlic if it gets too dark (optional).
  10. Toss in your spaghetti squash strands adding little bits of the crispy sage and preserving some for the garnish.
  11. Place the tossed squash onto your pretty serving bowl and GENEROUSLY shower it with grated fluffy parmesan cheese.
  12. Top with a few crispy sage leaves for garnish.

 

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Pork Chop Vesuvio For Two

one pan pork chops

There’s a popular dish here in Chicago called chicken Vesuvio. An Italian-American dish which is hearty and perfect for this time of year when the weather is starting to turn cooler. It has a luscious sauce that consists of olive oil, butter, white wine, lots of garlic, lemon and oregano, it’s so delicious you’ll be tempted to drink it on its own! The best version of chicken Vesuvio ( in my opinion and many others) uses bone-in chicken, although you can find it made with boneless chicken breasts as well.

This same technique of cooking the meat and making the sauce can also be applied to bone-in pork chops like I’ve done here.

pork potatoes and peas

Another distinctive feature of Vesuvio dishes is the addition of potato wedges and peas which take on all the amazing flavors from the sauce.

pork and savory sauce

Although this recipe for pork chops is for two you can easily double or triple it, and of course the same technique can be used for bone- in chicken. When making it with chicken you’ll  just need to make sure you have enough sauce depending on how many chicken pieces you use.

For this recipe I used two nice sized Frenched bone-in, center cut pork loin chops, this could definitely be a date night meal or a slow Sunday dinner.

pork chops Italian

All you need to serve along side this is maybe a salad or another green vegetable, and that will do it!

Enjoy!

5.0 from 1 reviews
Pork Chop Vesuvio For Two
 
A special technique in the cooking process ( Vesuvio) creates this specialty dish very popular in Chicago at many Italian American restaurants.
Author:
Ingredients
  • 2 bone in Frenched, center cut pork loin pork chops
  • 2 russet potatoes, medium size scrubbed clean with skin on then cut into quarter wedges
  • 1 heaping cup of peas
  • ¾ cup chicken broth
  • ¾ cup dry white wine
  • 2 Tablespoons lemon juice
  • 6 garlic cloves, 3 whole and 3 thinly sliced
  • 1 to 2 Tablespoons of dry oregano
  • 3 tablespoons butter lightly rolled in flour (which helps gives the sauce a very light thickening)
  • pinch of red pepper flakes
  • 1 lemon cut into wedges
  • parsley for garnish
  • salt and pepper
  • olive oil
Instructions
  1. On a sheet pan drizzle the potato wedges with olive oil, salt and pepper then roast them at 400F til golden brown, then set aside.
  2. In an oven proof skillet drizzled with olive oil season the chops with salt and pepper and brown on both sides until almost done cooking, remove and set aside.
  3. In the same oven proof skillet add a drizzle of olive oil then add all the garlic and saute until lightly golden and starts to smell.
  4. Pour in the broth, then the wine, turn up the flame and let it reduce a bit.
  5. Add the lemon juice and oregano then whisk in the butter to make it glossy and thickened, if you need a little more butter go ahead.
  6. Place the chops into the sauce along with the meat juices, spooning that sauce all around.
  7. Arrange the potato wedges in the pan as well as the peas and lemon wedges.
  8. Simmer everything together making sure pork chops are done with a meat thermometer.
  9. I like to finish mine off under the broiler to give the whole dish a nice golden finishing color.
  10. Garnish with the chopped parsley.

 

 

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