Pumpkin compote, toasted almonds & ricotta/Doce de abóbora, amêndoa torrada e ricotta

I have just got back from my parents farm in the North East part of Portugal. This property comprises of land with olive trees and other fruit orchards. It is a place where we all gather, family and friends, to recharge batteries for the new year ahead. This year, my friends and I spent some days harvesting the 75 year old olive trees which surround the main house. A very labourious process which culminated in beautiful organic virgin olive oil, very much for a year of family consumption, a beautiful green liquid to savour in all the dishes to be created in the year ahead. The time we all spent together was also for sharing food, incredible traditional dishes which were revisited by my mother and I. As for my first New Year blog entry I have decided to present you with a delicious pumpkin compote which is traditionally served on top of a slice of “Requeijão” – a traditional delicious curdled sheep’s milk cheese. This time I decided to serve it with Ricotta, the Italian equivalent and topped with flavoursome toasted almonds. Happy New Year!

Ingredients

750gr of pumpkin or butternut squash
250 ml of orange juice
1 cinnamon stick
300 gr of sugar
1 tsp of vanilla essence

300 gr of ricotta cheese
80gr of almonds


Preparation

Peel and seed the pumpkin. Cut it in chunks. Place them on a pan with the juice, the sugar and cinnamon stick on a medium/low heat. Let it simmer for 30-45 minutes or until it resembles a syrup consistency and the pumpkin has softened completely. Reduce the compote into a purée. Let it cool down before transfer the compote into sterilised kilner jars.

Toast the almonds on a hot dry pan for 3-5 minutes.

Serve a slice of ricotta with a dollop of pumpkin compote on top and sprinkled with the toasted almonds.

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