Pumpkin Armaretti and Parmesan Bowl



This is a scrumptious aperitivo Italian “dip”.  There a nice touch of sweet and salty coming from the armaretto cookies, grated paremsan, bread crumbs and pumpkin. This appetizer dish is a lovely touch as indiviual size portions with small pumpkins, or even as, a center piece dish where guests can all dive in together and greet one another with holiday cheer.  The pumpkin will be a familiar smell with a sensation of Italy all over it, from the first bite of pumpkin and parmesan to finish off with a sweeter side of armaretto.  A glass of processo for a “brindirsi” – cheers –  is a perfect pairing for this inviting appetizer. This is a winner for your holiday entertaining if you’re looking for something quick and elegant presentation with of course that touch of Italian we all know and love!


Difficulty : Easy  Prep Time : 15 minutes  Cook Time : 1 hour


1 large pumpkin (or smaller individual size number depending on dinner guests)

1 cup bread crumbs

1 1/2 cups grated parmesan cheese

1/2 cup crushed armaretto cookies

2 eggs

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon sea salt

Instructions :

  1. Cut open the pumpkin and remove the insides – the seeds you can save to roast with olive oil, sea salt, and rosmary.  Drizzle olive oil inside the pumpkin and sea salt and wrap with aluminium foil.  Cook in oven for 25/30 minutes at 300F / 180C.
  2. While the pumpkin cooks in the oven, in a frying pan on medium heat brown the bread crumbs in the rest of the olive oil – 3 tablespoons – adding first the armaretto cookies, eggs and last the parmesan.
  3. Mix the bread crumb mix together over the heat for about 6 minutes, making sure the mixture becomes creamy from the cheese added.  If needed add a tablespoon more of olive and a 1/2 a cup more of parmesan cheese if you notice the mixture is not creamy enough.
  4. Take the pumpkin out of the oven and fill it with the bread crumb mixture.  Place the top of the pumpkin back on to cover the mixture inside the pumpkin and place in the oven for another 40 minutes until pumpkin has soften.
  5. Remove pumpkin from oven.  With a fork gently around the pumpkin so the cooked pumpkin breaks off the outer part to mix into the bread crumb mixture, serve warm.

Eat Bene!