The great thing about winter squash — you know, those colorful, often oddly shaped, sometimes ginormous, sometimes small orbs with varying-shades-of-orange flesh that appear almost everywhere you look come fall — is that there are limitless ways to cook it. Even better, while there are many types of winter squash, in culinary applications they are all pretty much interchangeable, so you needn’t fret if you can’t find a sweet dumpling or blue Hubbard or red kuri squash — or even sugar pumpkins (which have a particularly short season). Whatever type of dish you want to make — appetizer, soup, main course, side or dessert — you can do it with winter squash.
There is the always-welcome pumpkin soup — savory, creamy, spiced with nutmeg and topped with crunchy pepitas. You can make it into gnocchi — not the typical little, ridged clumps of dough, but biscuit-like Roman-style rounds. You can poach it in a brothychicken hot pot. You can stuff it with masa and seared pork and then smother it with guajillo chile sauce. You can make it into a savory piewith leeks and mint or into a sweet dessert pie with a press-in graham cracker crust (really easy to do). You can stew it. Mash it. Caramelizeit. Stir it into risotto. Bake it, roast it and, well, you get the point.