1 7-8 lb pumpkin, such as a White Lumina or Jarrahdale
1 onion, finely chopped
1 Tbs vegetable or olive oil
3 gloves of garlic, 2 minced plus 1 left whole
1 cup dried cranberries
1 tsp ground ginger
1 tsp ground allspice
good pinch of saffron threads
zest of 1 orange
approximately 2 cups of basmati rice
salt and pepper to taste
1. Slice the lid off the top of the pumpkin, and remove the seeds and fibrous flesh from the inside, keeping the top to put back on later.
2. In a large saucepan with a lid, fry the onion gently in the oil until softened, then add the 2 minced garlic cloves, the cranberries, spices, and orange zest. Stir in the rice, turning until it becomes glossy in the pan.
3. Pour in the broth and let the pan come to a boil, then clamp down the lid and turn the heat down to the lowest it will possibly go. Cook for 15 minutes.
4. Cut the remaining clove of garlic in half and rub the inside of the pumpkin with the cut side of each half, then, using your fingers, smear some salt over the flesh inside as well.
5. The rice stuffing will be quite damp and not very fluffy at this stafe, but check it for seasoning - adding more spice, salt or pepper if wanted - and then spoon it into the garlic and salt rubbed pumpkin cavity and tamp down well. Press the pumpkin lid back on top and squeeze it down as firmly as you can (it will sit up a bit proud of the top).
6. Stand the pumpkin on a double layer of aluminum foil, wrapping the foil 2 inches up around the sides and scrunching it there, to keep the pumpkin out of direct contact with the water later.
7. Place the stuffed, partially wrapped pumpkin in a roasting pan, and our freshly boiled water to a depth of one inch. Cook the pumpkin for about 2 hours by which time it should be tender when pierced. Meanwhile, get on with the gingery tomato sauce (recipe below).
8. Take the pumpkin out of the roasting pan and let it sit for about 10 minutes before you slice it into segments like a cake.
Gingery Tomato Sauce
1 onion, peeled and halved
2 cloves of garlic, peeled
1 tsp dried ginger
1 1 inch length fresh ginger, peeled
1 Tsp butter
1 Tsp olive oil
3 cups organic tomato sauce (approximately 2 14 oz cans)
2 cups of water
1 tsp sugar
salt and pepper to taste
1. Put the onion, garlic, dried ginger, and fresh ginger into a processor and blitz to a pulp.
2. Heat the butter and oil in a deep, wide skillet, then add the onion-garlic mixture. Cook over a low heat for about 10 minutes stirring occasionally so it doesn't burn.
3. Add the tomato sauce and water to the pan, and season with the sugar, salt and pepper.
4. Cook for 15 minutes at a gentle simmer, then taste for seasoning before decanting into a warmed mug or gravy boat and taking it to the table for people to pour over their slices of stuffed pumpkin!
Make ahead tip: You can make the sauce up to 3 days ahead and keep it in the refrigerator. Reheat gently before serving.