The origins of this cake seems to be found until the middle age as this cake was served in the Lombardia (Northern Italian region) around the 23rd of December as the last of a 7 course meals.
We suppose that at this time not many could afford expensive ingredients, but in the last time this cake became richer and richer including different kind of nuts, raisins, almonds or sweet ingredients as fruits-mustard.
I will present you a simple recipe based on the ingredients available at that time. I added the nutmeg as this ingredients may have been THE ingredient which gave the name to the dish.
Usually this is baked as a single cake, but I decided to make a variation and make 4 single portions.
- 1000-1200 g Pumpkin
- 2 tablespoons butter
- 4 tablespoons olive oil
- 60 g breadcrumbs
- 60 g parmigiano cheese, freshly grated
- 1 egg
- 1 onion, sliced
- Nutmeg to taste (about 1/4 teaspoon)
- Salt and pepper to taste
- 1/3 cup walnuts, chopped
- 4 half walnuts for decoration
- Cut the pumpkin in wedges, remove the seed and peel it with the potatoes peeler.
- Place the pumpkin slices in a baking mold and bake in preheated oven at 200°C until soft. This takes about 20 minutes, depending on the size of the pieces. Place the pumpkin slices on a sieve over a bowl to drain for about 15 minutes.
- In the meantime you have time to prepare the ingredients. Heat in a skillet butter and oil and fry the onion at low-moderate heat for about 7 minutes until golden. Drain the onions (reserve for another recipe) and keep the oils for the pumpkin cake.
- Mash the pumpkin pulp (I got 750 g of it) with a potato masher.
- Add breadcrumbs, cheese, egg, oils and season with nutmeg, salt and pepper.
- Grease the baking mold and coat the walls with the chopped walnuts. Distribute the remaining chopped walnuts on the bottom.
- Distribute gently the pumpkin mixture in the molds, flatten with a fork forming nice patterns and top with half walnut.
- Place in the still preheated oven at 200°C for about 35 minutes until the borders change the color.
- Remove from the mold and place on dishes. Decorate to taste and serve warm.