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Rach pairs this showstopping stuffed pumpkin with her Roast Pork with Apples and Pears and a rich Dijon-spiked gravy for a beautiful and easy holiday meal. The side dish goes well with any type of roasted meat or could be a vegetarian entree.
Pro Tip from Rach: Just the rice portion of the recipe is delicious, too, but if you're serving it in a pumpkin, cover the roasted vessel with foil to keep warm and fill with the rice right before the browning step.
To roast chestnuts, score through the top round side of the shells, flat-side down, to make an X. Preheat oven to 400°F and roast 30 minutes until the skins curl back and chestnuts are well toasted. Peel and chop or chop can/jar or package of roasted.
Cut top off pumpkin and scoop out the seeds and pulp. Spray with oil and season with salt and pepper, then roast 45 to 60 minutes at 425°F on center rack until tender and lightly brown at edges.
Heat a pot with a lid over medium heat with 3 tablespoons butter and melt. Add the onions and soften a couple minutes, then add garlic and pasta and toast the pasta until golden. Add rice and Vadouvan and stir. Add stock, dried fruit and chestnuts and bring to boil, reduce heat, cover and simmer 18 minutes. Add remaining nuts (pine nuts and pistachios) and combine well. Adjust seasoning, fill pumpkin with rice and dot with remaining butter. Return to oven to brown top a few minutes, then serve.
Carve the pumpkin into wedges while separating the rice into portions, with the bonus being the roasted wedge of squash. Serve with any extra rice on the side.