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Thanksgiving is almost here! Before we get super excited about turkey, let’s take a moment to appreciate the most beloved veggie of the season: pumpkin! Pumpkin has been in overdrive this year, so we chatted with Real Housewives of New Jersey star and cookbook writer Kathy Wakile about her favorite pumpkin dishes.

OK! News: It’s confirmed! See why Dina Manzo is returning to RHONJ.

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OK!: Why is pumpkin so hot right now?

Kathy Wakile: Nutritionists are realizing they need to talk more about it, because it had such a strong nutritional value, and antioxidants, and a lot of vitamins that are essential to our health. It mixes so well with other seasonings. The health benefits are endless, and it’s so readily available. As I’ve been doing, my mother’s been doing, my grandmother’s been doing, it’s about taking advantage of the seasonal flavors.

OK! News: Yum! Try this pumpkin-based breakfast recipe.

OK!: What’s your favorite way to work with pumpkin?

KW: I make a pumpkin mousse. It’s, oh my God. It’s so good. You can put it in a pie shell, you can put it in a parfait. You can put in between layers of cakes. It’s so yummy, and so good for you. I make a pumpkin bread that’s not that sweet at all—it’s got cranberries and nuts, like a harvest muffin. Since it has a pleasant, sweet taste on its own, you don’t need as much sugar.

OK!: What about pasta dishes?
KW: Yes, pasta with a little sage butter is amazing. You can make it with pappardelle, an agnolotti, like a little pocket pasta, like a ravioli. Pumpkin and sage go so well together, with a brown butter sauce, ricotta, marscapone, becuase marscapone goes so well with pumpkin. Marscapone is an Italian cheese that’s like a cream cheese, but sweeter. Don’t forget the nutmeg!

What’s your favorite pumpkin dish? Do you understand all the hoopla this year? Do you prefer your pumpkin sweet or savory? Tell us in the comments below or tweet us @OKMagazine.

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