Pumpkin Stuffed with Fontina, Italian Sausage

Developing recipes for a cookbook is an incredibly intense and time consuming experience, something I learned earlier this year. I was lucky that my first book only involved drink recipes but I still found the entire process very overwhelming! This is why I have so much respect for Stephanie Stiavetti and Garrett McCord. They recently published Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese. It’s full of decadent macaroni and cheese recipes and I can’t even imagine the amount of work that went into creating this cookbook. It’s truly a work of art. 

So far I’ve only had a chance to make two recipes: Orzo with Grilled Pears & Humboldt Fog (seen below) and Pumpkin Stuffed with Fontina, Italian Sausage, and Macaroni, which I’m sharing today.

Humboldt Fog with Grilled Peaches and Orzo - a review of Melt from Savory Simple

Both are absolutely delicious and I cant wait to dig further into the book. I never realized there could be so many variations of mac and cheese recipes but Stephanie and Garrett are both so creative!

Pumpkin Stuffed with Fontina, Italian Sausage and Macaroni
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Reprinted with permission from Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese
Serves: 4 servings
  • 1 sugar pumpkin, or other sweet variety (not a carving pumpkin), about 5 pounds
  • Sea salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ¼ pound mild Italian pork sausage
  • 4 ounces elbow macaroni
  • 5 ounces Fontina, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 2 ounces Gruyère, cut into ¼-inch cubes
  • 3 scallions, diced
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh rosemary
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh thyme
  • 1 teaspoon chopped fresh sage
  • 1 cup heavy cream
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F/178°C. Cut a circle from the top of the pumpkin at a 45-degree angle, the way you would cut open a pumpkin to make a jack-o’-lantern, and set aside. Scoop out the seeds and strings as best you can. Generously salt and pepper the inside of the pumpkin, pop the top back on it, place it on a rimmed baking dish (since the pumpkin may leak or weep a bit), and bake for 45 minutes.
  2. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a sauté pan over medium heat. If the sausages are in their casings, remove the meat and discard the casings. Crumble the sausage meat into small chunks and cook until lightly browned. Remove the sausage from the pan with a slotted spoon and set aside to cool. Discard the drippings, or save for gravy or what have you.
  3. Also while the pumpkin bakes, cook the pasta in a large pot of salted boiling water until al dente. Drain through a colander and rinse with cool water to stop the cooking process.
  4. In a bowl, toss together the Fontina, Gruyère, sausage, pasta, scallions, and herbs. Once the pumpkin is done baking, take it out of the oven and fill it with the macaroni and cheese. Pour the cream over the filling. Place the top back on the pumpkin and bake for 1 hour, taking the top off for the last 15 minutes so the cheese on top of the filling can properly brown. If the top cream still seems a bit too wobbly and liquid, give it another 10 minutes in the oven. The cream may bubble over a bit, which is fine. If the pumpkin splits while baking, as occasionally happens, be thankful you set it in a rimmed baking dish and continue to bake as normal.
  5. Allow the pumpkin to rest for 10 minutes before serving. Be careful moving the dish, as the pumpkin may be fragile. You can serve this dish two ways: Cut it into sections and serve them, or just scoop out the insides with scrapings of the pumpkin flesh for each serving. Either way is just dandy. Salt and pepper to taste.
Wine pairings: white Rhône Valley blends, Viognier, oaky Chardonnay, champagne

Additional pairings for the cheese: apples, toasted walnuts, toasted hazelnuts


Tools I Used

(links go to my Amazon affiliate store)

All-Clad Stainless 3-Quart Saute Pan with Lid
Global GS-7 – 4 inch, 10cm Paring Spear Knife

More Pasta Recipes

Savory Simple – Edamame, Mint and Arugula Pesto Pasta
Savory Simple – Asian Beef Noodle Salad
Savory Simple – Pasta Salad with Figs and Prosciutto
Cooking with Amy – Red Wine Pasta with Walnuts
Domestic Fits – Greek Pasta Salad
Foodness Gracious – Pumpkin Shitake Angel Hair with Coho Salmon

Disclaimer: I was sent a free copy of ‘Melt: The Art of Macaroni and Cheese’ to review. I was not compensated for this post and as always, all opinions are my own.

  • http://www.bloggingoverthyme.com Laura (Blogging Over Thyme)

    Both of these dishes are spectacular! Can’t get over that one in the pumpkin :) Such a great idea! Can’t wait to check out this book. Mac and cheese is my favorite, and I’d love to make more variations.

  • http://whatshouldieatforbreakfasttoday.com/ Marta @ What Should I eat for breakfast today

    Both look super yummy, and these are you recipes, good work!

  • Gerry @ Foodness Gracious

    This is a book I hope Santa brings this year! Thanks for the link :)

  • http://tworedbowls.com Two Red Bowls

    This is so COOL. I love it. What a wonderful spin on mac & cheese — I’ve seen mentions of Melt everywhere and everything I’ve seen about it sounds amazing. I really need to get my hands on a copy, clearly! Thanks for this gorgeous post.

    • Garrett

      As one of the authors of Melt, this is so wonderful to hear! I hope you love it!

  • Garrett

    Thank you so much! I’m so overjoyed you loved the book!

  • http://www.theculinarylife.com Stephanie

    Thank you so much! And I love the pumpkin photo. :)

  • http://tutti-dolci.com/ Laura (Tutti Dolci)

    Wonderful dishes, I especially love the stuffed pumpkin – such a creative presentation!

  • http://www.thebeautifulbalance.com Christina @ The Beautiful Balance

    I am making this for my boyfriend “the meat eater” later this week!

  • http://www.tasteloveandnourish.com Caroline

    Can you come take my pics for me? Thank you! ;)

  • http://www.halfbakedharvest.com/ Tieghan

    Such awesome dishes! The pumpkin is so cute and the orzo is just gorgeous! I know I would love this book!

  • http://damndelicious.net Chung-Ah | Damn Delicious

    Can I have the entire pumpkin, please?

  • http://www.fresh-eggs-daily.com Lisa @ Fresh Eggs Daily

    Thank you for your review. I have been eyeing this book…and in fact its on my amazon wish list! I was wondering just how many different ways there are to make mac&cheese, but clearly, this book is really inventive and creative.

  • http://allspiceandnutmeg.com Norma | Allspice and Nutmeg

    This sounds incredible! Pinning!

  • http://www.delallo.com DeLallo Foods

    Recipe looks delicious! Perfect for the holidays!

  • http://www.farmfreshfeasts.com Kirsten@FarmFreshFeasts

    That mac and cheese is amazing, and your photos are incredible!

  • http://www.ny-foodgasm.blogspot.com Sophia @ NY Foodgasm

    WOW this is sooooo gorgeous and sounds soooooo good! Pinning this is gorgeous!!

  • http://www.grandbaby-cakes.com Jocelyn (Grandbaby Cakes)

    This looks incredible! Gosh I would love to taste this. The flavors are so great.

  • http://stephaniesazkitchen.blogspot.com Stephanie @ Stephanie’s Az Kitchen

    Stunning! I haven’t had good luck with cooking with pumpkin but I haven’t tried it whole like this… will try it :)

  • http://farmonplate.com Medha

    Love your photography! Gorgeous and so tempting pictures :)

  • http://someoneleftthecakeoutintherain.wordpress.com Megan


  • http://kirantarun.com/food Kiran @ KiranTarun.com

    I love the dark and moody photos. So so pretty!! And that pumpkin stuffed macaroni is sheer brilliance and comforting :)


  • http://www.cookingclassy.com Jaclyn

    Beautiful pictures Jennifer!

  • jan

    Can’t wait to give this recipe a try!