In early autumn, pumpkins are ripe for carving, but sugar pumpkins (also known as pie pumpkins) have a sweet, tender flesh that's especially good for cooking.
This fall veggie is a member of the gourd family; find one at a farmers' market or supermarket.
Choose smooth, deep-orange pumpkins that are heavy for their size, without cracks or soft spots. Store in the pantry for up to one month.
Sugar pumpkins are very versatile. Try pumpkin roasted with olive oil and herbs to serve as a side dish, or tossed with pasta and creamy cheese for a main dish. We pureed sugar pumpkin to enjoy on its own, to bake in a gratin, or to use in a traditional pie or an updated tart.
Unlike deeply ridged, hard squash such as acorn, smooth sugar pumpkins are easy to prep. Cut off the top and bottom ends, then use a vegetable peeler to remove the skin. For tougher skin, make a few more passes with the peeler.