Creamy White Beans and Roast Pumpkin with Sage and Greek Yogurt

February 2, 2023

This is a very satisfying, moreish and cosy dish, which can work either a starter or a main course.

I had a very similar dish at St. John restaurant in London’s Marylebone, and I tried to make it at home using very easily available ingredients and herbs.

I always use Delica or Mantovana variety of pumpkin*, which have a vary flavoursome, concentrated and sweet flesh. If they are hard to get, use the pumpkin that is available to you, but if you have an opportunity to try out Delica or Mantovani pumpkin, I strongly encourage you to do so.

I like to cut the pumpkin into half moon-shaped wedges (leaving the skin on) at a slightly different thickness. This way some of the baked pumpkin pieces will turn very soft, and some of them will retain their shape, which will only complete the whole dish.

Serves 4-6 as a starter:

  • about 500 g of a pumpkin (skin left on), roughly a half of a Delica or Mantovani pumpkin*
  • 250 g of dry cannellini beans, soaked overnight in cold water
  • about 10 sage leaves
  • 4-5 cloves of garlic, left unpeeled
  • some olive oil
  • sea salt
  • black pepper
  • Greek yogurt (full fat), allow a tablespoon per portion

Start with soaking the beans in cold water and cook them as in the recipe for: White Beans with Sage / Fagioli Bianchi con Salvia (see the recipe here).

Once the beans are cooked until tender, remove the garlic and sage leaves.

Take out with a slotted spoon about a third of the beans and try to turn them into a mash, either using a fork or a potato ricer. If using a potato ricer, you don’t have to pass the beans through fully. You just want the flesh to turn into the desirable creamy consistency. Don’t be tempted to remove and discard the skin.

Drain the rest of the beans keeping the cooking liquid.

Move all the beans (whole and mashed) into one pot, add just enough of the cooking liquid so the bean sauce doesn’t turn too runny and heat everything up on a medium heat.

Taste and adjust with more salt to your liking. Keep the beans warm.

In the meantime prepare the pumpkin.

Preheat the oven to 180 C (static).

Scoop out and the remove the seeds from the cavity of the pumpkin.

Cut the pumpkin into half moon wedges, roughly 2-3 cm thick.

Line a baking tray with baking parchment.

Neatly arrange the pumpkin wedges on the tray. Drizzle some olive oil all over the pumpkin (or you can brush the wedges with the olive oil), sprinkle with some salt, toss in some sage leaves and gently pressed garlic cloves (skin left on).

Bake everything in the preheated oven for about 25-30 minutes.

Check with a small sharp knife if the pumpkin wedges are baked through and soft enough.

Remove the tray from the oven and allow the pumpkin to cool down a little before handling.

Peel the skin off and cut the pumpkin into smaller chunks.

To serve:

Arrange the warm creamy beans into individual serving plates and spread the pumpkin pieces on top.

Decorate with a dollop of the Greek yogurt, some black pepper and a drizzle of a virgin olive oil.

Eat whilst still warm accompanied by a slice of a crunchy bread or a toast.