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Nothing signals the beginning of the holiday season more than pumpkins do, and just as they start showing up on front porches across the country, they make their way into our kitchens too. Of course it’s possible to cook using fresh pumpkin, but I think that for almost every application, canned pumpkin puree just works better. Fresh pumpkin tends to be a little watery, but canned puree is smooth, rich and flavorful every time. Canned pumpkin is a delicious addition to all kinds of dishes, sweet and savory, and Food Network Magazine’s October booklet has 50 inspiring canned pumpkin recipes for the holidays.
The Pumpkin Pasta Alfredo (pictured above) and Pumpkin Oatmeal are two of my top picks, but another of my favorites didn’t make the list: Curried Pumpkin Ketchup. This spiced ketchup is really easy to make and is truly delicious. In the test kitchen, we sampled it on fries and loved it, and I think it would taste great slathered all over a meatloaf sandwich.
Curried Pumpkin Ketchup
Cook 1 minced shallot in 1 tablespoon unsalted butter in a small saucepan over medium heat until soft. Add 1 teaspoon each curry powder and paprika and a pinch cayenne, and cook, stirring, until fragrant. Add 1/2 cup pumpkin puree and 1 cup each ketchup and water; simmer until thick, about 25 minutes.