Nusat- pumpkin pie

nusät- the Italian pumpkin pie

Now that pumpkins are starting to make their appearance in Toronto, I thought of bringing you the Italian (and salty) take on pumpkin pie, the nusät . Its name in the Lombard dialect means nutmeg: since ancient time this exotic ingredient, much appreciated in Lombardy, was used to flavour dishes prepared with the few ingredients that could be found in winter in farm houses .
In the Middle Ages the nusät was also one of  the seven courses served during the Evening of Seven Dinners: on December 23rd  a feast was served just before observing the fast until Christmas eve.

800 gr pumpkin already peeled and seeds removed
60 g grated parmigiano reggiano
60 g bread crumbs
1 egg
1 white onion
2-3 sage leaves
1 tsp butter
extra virgin olive oil
salt – pepper

- Boil the pumpkin pulp (or steam for about 20 ‘  or bake in the oven at 180 ° C for 40 ‘ ) .
- Meanwhile, peel and slice the onion and sauté it slowly in a pan with sage, butter and  3 tbsp of olive oil for 8-10′.
- Drain the onions and set aside the oil and butter from the pan while discarding the sage leaves.
- Mash the boiled pumpkin in a potato masher and collect the pulp into a bowl.
- Add the egg, parmigiano, breadcrumbs, salt, pepper and nutmeg and stir.
- Add the oil and butter sauce you kept aside and mix well.
- Butter a round baking pan with high sides and sprinkle with bread crumbs; pour the mixture and level it with a spatula. 
- Bake the pie at 150 ° C for about 35 ‘ . Serve garnished, if desired, with walnuts.