Pumpkin Kamut with Pecorino and Hazelnuts

My brother visited last week, and when he left on Saturday afternoon, there were a few more snacks than usual in the cabinets, a giant pink box of doughnuts on the kitchen island, and best of all… a pumpkin on the counter.

Vertical overhead image of two white bowls of pumpkin kamut with a garnish of shredded cheese and toasted hazelnuts, on a brown wood surface with a small glass dish of nuts, a fork, a bunch of parsley, and a white bowl of uncooked Khorasan wheat, printed with orange and white text in the top third and at the bottom of the frame.

In Nashville at this time of year, more often than not I’m still wearing shorts and sweating. But I see squash and pumpkins, and I know it’s fall.

Oh, fall. I love fall.

Vertical overhead image of pumpkin kamut with shredded cheese and toasted hazelnuts on top and a fork, on a brown wood surface with a block of Italian hard cheese and sprigs of fresh parsley.

I’m so excited for the arrival of autumn this year. Give me a pumpkin, with its muted orange skin and earthy, vegetal flesh, and I’m suddenly taken in my mind to a place filled with piles of leaves, kids trick-or-treating, and getting to go for long walks in the crisp, cool air.

There’s so much to look forward to! And roasting a pumpkin, such a simple kitchen task, provides both the delicious, creamy base for the sauce that I’m going to teach you how to make today, and the perfect starting point to begin this year’s celebration of fall at your own dining table.

Vertical oblique overhead image of a large glass bowl of cooked Kamut and a small white ceramic bowl of uncooked Khorasan wheat, on a an unfinished wood surface.

So, let’s talk grains. Kamut is an Ancient Egyptian word for wheat, and a brand name for a grain that is known today as Khorasan wheat. Similar to spelt, it is an ancient relative of durum wheat, with large grains.

Kamut is a whole grain that’s high in protein, and it’s fun to play around with in the kitchen. Expect a chewy texture and a filling effect when you use it.

Vertical overhead image of two white bowls of pumpkin Kamut topped with grated Pecorino and toasted hazelnuts, on a brown wood surface with a fork, a small glass dish of nuts, a bunch of parsley, a bowl of uncooked grain, and a block of hard cheese.

As written, this recipe makes enough for about six side portions. A dinner option similar to risotto that Tim says is in the same family as macaroni and cheese, this dish is simply cooked Kamut with a creamy, cheesy, savory pumpkin sauce.

Served with a little extra grated cheese and some chopped toasted hazelnuts on top, it’s hearty, filling, and perfect a cool night.

Vertical oblique overhead image of a white bowl of pumpkin Kamut topped with grated cheese and toasted hazelnuts, with a fork, beside two more white bowls, one filled with the uncooked grain, a block of cheese, and a bunch of flat leaf parsley, on a brown wood surface.

If trying a new grain scares you, just try the sauce! Creamy pumpkin goodness is hard to resist, and it’s delicious on pasta or layered in a vegetarian lasagna as well. Other grains like spelt, farro, or einkorn could sub in for the Kamut too, if you wish.

Keep in mind that Khorasan wheat does contain gluten. For a gluten-free option, try Arborio rice instead.

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Horizontal overhead image of two white ceramic bowls of pumpkin kamut garnished with grated cheese and toasted hazelnuts, on a brown wood surface with a block of hard cheese, a bunch of parsley, a fork, and a glass dish of nuts.

Pumpkin Kamut with Pecorino and Hazelnuts


  • Author: Shanna Mallon
  • Prep Time: 15 minutes
  • Cook Time: 1 hour
  • Total Time: 1 hour 15 minutes
  • Yield: 6 servings 1x

Description

Perfectly chewy and creamy, this Pumpkin Kamut with Pecorino and Hazelnuts is a healthier, fall-flavored risotto without all the stirring.


Scale

Ingredients

  • 1 cup Kamut® grains (or 3 cups cooked)
  • 2 quarts water
  • 1 pie pumpkin (or 3 cups pureed pumpkin)
  • 1/2 tablespoon coconut oil 
  • 3 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • ½ cup chopped white onion 
  • ½ teaspoon salt 
  • ½ teaspoon garlic powder
  • ¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 inch fresh ginger, peeled and grated
  • ½ cup grated Pecorino cheese, plus more for serving
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • 1 tablespoon granulated sugar
  • 1 cup toasted hazelnuts 

Instructions

  1. In a large stockpot over medium heat, combine one cup uncooked Kamut with 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil.
  2. Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 60-90 minutes, or until the grains are soft and chewy. 
  3. While the Kamut cooks, prep and roast the pumpkin. Preheat oven to 375°F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
  4. Slice the pumpkin in half. Scoop out seeds and then rub the insides with coconut oil. Place the halves, cut side down, on the prepared baking sheet. Roast for 40-60 minutes, or until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork. 
  5. Remove from oven and allow to cool slightly. Scoop out flesh and puree in a food processor, or place in a bowl and mash with a potato masher. Measure out 3 cups of puree and set aside. 
  6. Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add butter. Once butter is melted, add onion, garlic powder, black pepper, and ginger. Cook until onions are soft and translucent, about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally. 
  7. Stir in puree, grated cheese, heavy cream, and sugar until combined. Remove from heat and set aside. 
  8. Drain the cooked kamut and transfer to a large bowl. Stir in half of the sauce, and taste. Continue to add more sauce a few spoonfuls at a time until the texture is creamy and the flavor is to your liking. Leftover sauce can be saved for another use.
  9. Divide mixture evenly between 6 bowls. Top with roasted hazelnuts and extra grated cheese.

  • Category: Fall
  • Method: Stovetop, Roasting
  • Cuisine: Dinner

Keywords: kamut, pumpkin, fall, hazelnut, squash

Cooking By the Numbers…

Step 1 – Prep and Measure Ingredients

Measure out all of your ingredients.

Horizontal overhead image of a pie pumpkin, a metal measuring spoon filled with semi-solid coconut oil, and medium-sized and small white ceramic and clear glass dishes of hazelnuts, salt and pepper, garlic powder, uncooked Kamut, cream, chopped purple onion, and grated cheese, on an unfinished wood surface.

Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the pumpkin in half.

Horizontal overhead image of a sugar pumpkin that has been cut in half horizontally, with seeds and pulp visible inside on one half, and the stem still intact on the other, on a white plastic cutting board with a few scattered seeds and a chef's knife, on a brown surface.

Scoop out the seeds. You can wash them and save them for toasting and snacking if you like.

Horizontal image of a pumpkin that has been cut in half and hollowed out, with the seeds and pulp removed and the flesh intact, on an unfinished wood surface.

Preheat your oven to 375°F, and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.

Bonus Tips:

  • For a quick option, or if fresh pumpkin isn’t available, you can use canned pure pumpkin puree instead of making your own puree from scratch.
  • To cut down on cooking time, you can soak the Kamut overnight. Place it in a bowl with just enough water to cover, and put a lid on top.
  • For a lighter, slightly less creamy dish, substitute 2% milk, or an unsweetened non-dairy milk alternative.

Horizontal overhead image of toasted hazelnuts on a piece of parchment paper on top of a baking sheet.

  • If you don’t have toasted hazelnuts on hand, place whole nuts on a baking sheet and toast them in the preheated oven for 8-10 minutes. Keep an eye on them, so they don’t burn! Cool and chop before using.

Step 2 – Cook Grain

Place a large stockpot over medium heat. Add the Kamut and 2 quarts of water, and bring to a boil. As soon as it’s boiling, reduce the heat to a simmer and cook for 60-90 minutes, or until the grains are soft and chewy.

Overhead image of whole grain Khorasan wheat in water in the bottom of a nonstick saucepan.

If you soaked the Kamut overnight, drain the soaking water and place the soaked grains in a large stockpot with 3 cups of water. Bring to a boil, and then reduce heat to a simmer. Cook for 40 minutes, or until soft.

Step 3 – Roast and Puree Squash

Rub the insides of the pumpkin halves with coconut oil, and place on your prepared baking sheet cut side down.

Roast for 40 minutes, or until the flesh is easily pierced with a fork. Remove from the oven and set aside to cool slightly.

Horizontal oblique overhead image of several pieces of roasted and peeled pumpkin in a food processor.

When it’s cool enough to touch, scoop out the flesh and place it in your food processor. Puree until smooth. You can do this in your blender as well.

If you’re having a hard time getting the puree and smooth, add a few splashes of the heavy cream and continue pureeing.

Overhead close-up image of pumpkin puree in a food processor with black blade housing and a clear plastic canister.

Measure out 3 cups of puree, and set it aside. Any leftover puree that you have in addition to what you will need for this dish can be stored in the fridge or freezer to use in another recipe.

If you don’t have a food processor or blender, mash the roasted squash by hand in a large mixing bowl, using a potato masher.

Step 4 – Make Sauce

Place a large saucepan over medium heat and add the butter. Let it melt completely.

Horizontal overhead image of a nonstick frying pan of butter, oil, chopped onion, salt, pepper, ginger, and garlic powder.

Add the onion, salt, garlic powder, ground black pepper, and ginger. Continue cooking until the onions are soft and translucent, for about 5 minutes, stirring occasionally.

Closely cropped overhead image of a nonstick pan of onions sauteeing in oil.

Add the pumpkin puree, grated Pecorino, heavy cream, and sugar.

Horizontal overhead image of a pan of pumpkin puree with a hand at the right of the frame holding a glass dish of grated cheese over the pan, about to dump it in.

Stir to combine. Remove from heat and set aside.

Step 5 – Finish and Serve

Drain the cooked Kamut and place it in a large mixing bowl.

Horizontal overhead image of cooked Kamut in a large glass mixing bowl, on an unfinished wood surface.

Stir in half of the sauce, and give it a taste. Add additional sauce a few spoonfuls at a time until the mixture is creamy and the flavor is to your liking. Texturally, it should resemble a risotto.

A glass mixing bowl is filled with a creamy mixture of cooked Kamut and roasted pumpkin puree.

Leftover sauce can be saved to serve on pasta, or try experimenting with more of your favorite types of grains.

Evenly divide the mixture between 6 bowls, and top with toasted hazelnuts and grated cheese.

Mix Things Up with Other Types of Winter Squash

If you can’t find pie pumpkins at the store or you’re looking to change up the flavor profile of this dish a bit, there are plenty of different types of winter squash to choose from that will make a delicious sauce.

Some of my favorite squash alternatives include:

Though it’s not a squash, roasted sweet potato puree would also work nicely!

Horizontal overhead image of two white ceramic bowls of pumpkin kamut garnished with grated cheese and toasted hazelnuts, on a brown wood surface with a block of hard cheese, a bunch of parsley, a fork, and a glass dish of nuts.

Are you craving even more pumpkin recipes? Have some leftover puree that you’re eager to use? Put it to use in one of these Foodal favorites:

Let us know what you think of this creamy, chewy dish by leaving a comment and a rating below!

Photos by Kelli McGrane, © Ask the Experts, LLC. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED. See our TOS for more details. Originally published on September 22, 2015. Last updated: October 18, 2019 at 16:00 pm. With additional writing and editing by Kelli McGrane and Allison Sidhu.

Nutritional information derived from a database of known generic and branded foods and ingredients and was not compiled by a registered dietitian or submitted for lab testing. It should be viewed as an approximation.

The contents of this article have been reviewed and verified by a registered dietitian for informational purposes only. This article should not be construed as personalized or professional medical advice. Foodal and Ask the Experts, LLC assume no liability for the use or misuse of the material presented above. Always consult with a medical professional before changing your diet, or using supplements or manufactured or natural medications.

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About Shanna Mallon

Shanna Mallon is a freelance writer who holds an MA in writing from DePaul University. Her work has been featured in a variety of media outlets, including The Kitchn, Better Homes & Gardens, Taste of Home, Houzz.com, Foodista, Entrepreneur, and Ragan PR. In 2014, she co-authored The Einkorn Cookbook with her husband, Tim. Today, you can find her digging into food topics and celebrating the everyday grace of eating on her blog, Go Eat Your Bread with Joy. Shanna lives in Nashville, Tennessee, with Tim and their two small kids.

7 thoughts on “Pumpkin Kamut with Pecorino and Hazelnuts”

  1. This sounds like a wonderful dish full of autumn comfort. I’ve used kamut flour before (and really liked it) but I don’t think I’ve ever cooked with the grains. I’ll be trying this very soon.

    • See, now I have used the grains but not the flour! I still have some kamut berries left; I’m tempted to grind them myself and see how it goes.

  2. It’s still pretty warm here but it’s cooling down! And I would be so tickled to have a pumpkin left on the counter. I love what you did with it!

  3. Shanna…! thanks for the tutorial on how to roast the pumpkin.. am so tempted to get one of those huge pumpkins at Trader Joe’s! only thing is, how do you cut the beast into half before roasting? It has such a THICK skin, for lack of a better description!

    • Felicia, ha! Good question. The short answer is Tim. I basically always have to enlist help to slice my pumpkins and autumn squash. I’m with you!

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