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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.Print
Perfectly chewy and creamy, this Pumpkin Kamut with Pecorino and Hazelnuts is a healthier, fall-flavored risotto without all the stirring.
- 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
- In a large stockpot over medium heat, combine one cup uncooked Kamut with 2 quarts water. Bring to a boil.
- Reduce heat to a simmer and cook uncovered for 60-90 minutes, or until the grains are soft and chewy.
- While the Kamut cooks, prep and roast the pumpkin. Preheat oven to 375°F and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Stir in puree, grated cheese, heavy cream, and sugar until combined. Remove from heat and set aside.
- 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.
- Divide mixture evenly between 6 bowls. Top with roasted hazelnuts and extra grated cheese.
- Prep Time: 15 minutes
- Cook Time: 1 hour
- 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.
Using a sharp chef’s knife, slice the pumpkin in half.
Scoop out the seeds. You can wash them and save them for toasting and snacking if you like.
Preheat your oven to 375°F, and cover a baking sheet with parchment paper.
- 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.
- 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Add the pumpkin puree, grated Pecorino, heavy cream, and sugar.
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.
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.
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:
- Red Kuri
Though it’s not a squash, roasted sweet potato puree would also work nicely!
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: September 27, 2023 at 19:43 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 written 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.
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.