- Difficulty: Easy
- Prep time: 20 min
- Cook time: 40 min
- Makes: 16 pieces
- Cost: Low
Meatball lovers, come straight to us! If you can't resist these golden finger food bites, especially if they contain a voluptuous melted heart, we've prepared another delicious bite-sized version...pumpkin balls! The humble Halloween and autumn vegetable turns into a soft puree you can craft by hand to create delicious nuggets for frying or baking. Serve them together with chick pea balls or cauliflower and turmeric balls: pumpkin bites will be the coveted co-stars of an inviting vegetarian buffet that will amaze your friends!
- Ingredients for 16 bites
- Pumpkin 1 lb (500 g)
- Breadcrumbs ¾ cup (100 g)
- Parmigiano Reggiano PDO cheese 1 cup (100 g) - grated
- Smoked scamorza cheese ½ cup (50 g)
- Eggs 1
- Sage to taste
- Extra virgin olive oil to taste
- Fine salt to taste
- Black pepper to taste
- For the breading
- Breadcrumbs to taste
- For frying
- Vegetable oil to taste
How to prepare Pumpkin bites
To prepare pumpkin bites, start with the pumpkin (we used the violin variety, but other types will work great too, like the delica): divide it in half 1 and remove the skin, then cut into slices that are half a centimeter thick each 2, to obtain 500 g of pumpkin pulp. Arrange the pumpkin slices onto a baking tray lined with parchment paper, drizzle with oil 3 and sprinkle with salt before baking in a static oven preheated to 390°F (200°C) for 30 minutes.
In the meantime, finely chop the sage leaves 4 and finely dice the smoked scamorza cheese 5. When the pumpkin is ready 6, remove from the oven and place in a bowl.
Mash the pumpkin with a fork 7, then add the breadcrumbs 8, the grated Parmigiano cheese 9,
the egg 10 and the finely chopped sage 11. Mix the ingredients thoroughly by hand and add pepper to taste 12.
Roll the mixture into balls, around 1.4 oz each, and place a few dices of smoked scamorza cheese in the middle of each one 13. Close the balls to encase the cheese and roll by hand to make them rounder in shape 14. Repeat with all the other balls: you should make around 16 with these amounts. Now heat the frying oil to 340°F (170°C) (preferably measured using a cooking thermometer), coat each ball in the breadcrumbs 15
and fry in the oil for a couple of minutes to melt the cheese inside 16. Remember to fry only a few balls at a time so that the temperature of the oil does not drop too much. When they are nice and golden, leave them to drain on a piece of absorbent kitchen paper, to eliminate excess oil 17. You pumpkin bites are ready to be served, while hot and stringy 18!
Any leftover pumpkin bites can be stored in the refrigerator, in a sealed container, for up to 2 days. Before serving, you can heat them in the oven or microwave.
Alternatively, you can freeze stuffed and breaded pumpkin bites and fry them when still frozen, after leaving them to rest for a short time at room temperature.
Pumpkin bites can also be cooked in a static oven preheated to 355°F (180°C) for around 20 minutes. If you prefer a more delicate filling, you can replace the smoked scamorza cheese with ricotta. For a crispier result, try coating the balls in fine corn flour instead of breadcrumbs!