Whole Roasted Pumpkin Stuffed with Porcini and Truffles
(Zucca al Forno Ripena con Porcini e Tartufi)
Serves 8-10

1 large pumpkin, approximately 4-5 pounds, stalk end cut to form a cap, seeds and strings removed from cavity
3 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 large yellow onions, peeled and minced
12 ounces fresh wild mushrooms (porcini, cepes, chanterelles, portobello), thinly sliced (or 4 ounces dried porcini, softened in 1/2 cup of warm water, drained and thinly sliced)
2 whole black truffles, thinly sliced (or 3 ounces black truffle paste), optional
sea salt
1 teaspoon white pepper

3 cups mascarpone
12 ounces Emmenthaler cheese, grated
4 ounces Parmesan cheese, grated
3 whole eggs, beaten
2 teaspoons grated nutmeg

4 tablespoons unsalted butter
8 slices firm-textured day old white bread, crusts removed, cut into 1 inch squares

1. In a medium saute pan, melt the butter and saute the onion with the mushrooms until both soften and the mushrooms give up their liquid (if using dried mushrooms, strain the soaking liquid and add it to the saute pan). Add the truffles (if using) and combine well. Add the salt and pepper.

2. In a large bowl, combine all the remaining ingredients except the bread and butter; season with liberal amounts of salt and pepper. Beat until well combined, then stir in the mushrooms, onions and truffles.

3. Melt the butter in a saute pan and brown the bread, tossing the pieces about until they are crisp and nicely browned.

4. Place the pumpkin in a large heavy baking dish or on a baking sheet. Spoon one-third of the mushroom mixture into the pumpkin, add half the crisped bread, then another third of the mushroom mixture, then the last of the bread, then end with the last of the mushroom mixture.

5. Replace the pumpkin cap and roast at 375°F for 1 1/2 hours or until the pumpkin flesh is very soft.

6. Carry the pumpkin immediately to the table, remove its cap and spoon out portions of the flesh with the stuffing.