Makes 8 Servings
1 pumpkin (2½ pounds)
4 cipolline onions
¼ cup freshly grated Parmigiano-Reggiano
¼ teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
1 teaspoon kosher salt
¼ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 egg whites
3 cups plus 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
10 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped, plus 8 whole sage leaves
2 tablespoons sage oil (see recipe)
1/3 cup sherry vinegar
Parmigiano-Reggiano, for grating
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F.
Cut the pumpkin through the equator to create 3 pieces; a 1-inch-thick ring and two end pieces. Wrap each end piece in foil. Wrap the onions in another piece of foil. Bake the pumpkin and onions for 1 hour, then unwrap and allow to cool.
Turn the oven up to 400 degrees F. Lightly grease eight 4-ounce ramekins or custard cups with butter or oil.
Peel the cooled pumpkin and cut the flesh into cubes. Pulse the cubes in the bowl of a food processor until pureed, or mash vigorously with a fork. Transfer the pumpkin to a large bowl, add the egg yolk, eggs, Parmigiano-Reggiano, mascarpone, nutmeg, salt, and pepper, and stir gently to combine. Beat the egg whites to soft peaks, then gently fold them into the squash mixture.
Divide the batter equally among the prepared cups, and place them in a baking pan large enough to hold them all without tipping. Fill the pan halfway with warm water, cover the whole pan tightly with aluminum foil, and bake for 35 to 40 minutes, or until a toothpick inserted in the center of a custard comes out clean. Keep warm.
While the pumpkin bakes, place the shiitakes in a small baking pan. Drizzle with 1 cup of the olive oil, sprinkle with the chopped sage and garlic and gently toss the mushrooms to coat. Roast until the mushrooms are tender, 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and allow to cool strain the oil and reserve.
While the shiitakes and custards are cooking, heat 2 cups of the olive oil to 300 degrees F in a small heavy-bottomed saucepan. Deep-fry the sage leaves in the hot oil, four at a time, until they are dark green and crispy, about 25 seconds. Remove from the oil with a slotted spoon and drain on a plate lined with paper towels, and set aside.
Peel the reserved pumpkin ring and cut the flesh into julienne strips. Place the pumpkin in a small bowl, add the remaining tablespoon of olive oil and salt and pepper to taste, and toss well to coat.
To make the mushroom vinaigrette: Pour the vinegar into a small bowl. Gently whisk in 1 cup of the strained mushroom cooking oil and season with salt and pepper.
To assemble the dish, carefully unmold one custard onto each of eight warmed dinner plates, running a knife around the edge of the cup to loosen the custard if necessary. Carefully half the onions through the equator and place one half on each plate. Surround the custards with some of the roasted mushroom mixture, garnish with the julienned pumpkin, fired sage leaves, sage oil, and wild mushrooms vinaigrette, and grate plenty of cheese over each plate before serving.