Comforting, healthy, delicious...I love pumpkin. If you just decided to have a Halloween party, here are a few ways to turn this veg into an eco friendly, less than scary soiree in minutes. Happy Halloween.
- Select your color scheme: black & orange; chocolate & white, orange & green. Coordinate your linens & china and use whatever you have at home.
- Pick up an assortment of pumpkins or squashes in interesting varieties and sizes and create a natural tablescape.
- Low on squashes, fill in with apples, oranges and pine cones. Set a place for each guest with a reusable leaf or baby pumpkin.
- For extra elegance add a bouquet of poppy flowers and dine by soy candle light.
- For a kids table, fill colorful containers, mugs, reusable totes with treats of all kinds like licorice and lolly pops and sprinkle wrapped candies between them. Add crayons & paper at each place setting and let their imaginations run wild...before their big night out.
- Steep mulling spices or cinnamon sticks in red wine or cider for a sweet but spicy holiday aroma and drink.
- Keep the menu simple with a green salad and a delicious ravioli dish like this fave. I use the 365 frozen butternut squash ravioli from Whole Foods. For dessert, melt chocolate chips in a double boiler and have everyone dip and roll their own organic apples into their favorite chocolate and chopped nuts or candies.
1/2 cup peeled hazelnuts
1/2 cup vegetable oil
1 pound fresh pumpkin ravioli
1 stick unsalted butter
6 fresh sage leaves
Large pinch grated nutmeg
1/2 cup grated Parmesan
2 amaretti cookies
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.
Spread hazelnuts onto a baking tray. Toast hazelnuts in oven until light golden brown and fragrant, about 5 to 7 minutes. Allow to cool completely. Coarsely chop the cooled hazelnuts and set aside.
In a 10 or 12-inch saute pan with high sides, bring 2 quarts of salted water to a boil. Add the vegetable oil to prevent the ravioli from sticking to one another. Add ravioli and cook for 4 minutes or until they float to the top. Using a spider strainer, carefully remove ravioli to a large platter and tent with foil to keep warm.
In a small saute pan, melt the butter. When butter is sizzling and starts to brown, tear sage leaves into the pan and fry for about 20 seconds. Remove from heat and stir in nutmeg. Pour butter sauce over ravioli and sprinkle with toasted hazelnuts. Grate amaretti cookies over the dish and serve immediately.