Secret Pumpkin Pie Recipe

This recipe was submitted by Pietro Siciliano of Tombolino Italian Restaurant, located in Yonkers, NY. The recipe is as unique as its taste and its sure to make a big hit for Thanksgiving or any other time you may be in the mood to enjoy a fine seasonal dessert. I thank Pietro, because most of the times its difficult for a Chef to disclose a secret.

Tombolino’s Pumpkin Pie

1 & 1/2 Cup of Pumpkin

1 & 1/2 Cup of milk

2 Eggs

3/4 Cup of sugar

1 Teaspoon of cinnamon

1/2 Teaspoon of salt

2 Teaspoon of melted butter


The Crust

1 & 1/2 Cup of flour

6 Tablespoons of cold butter

3 Tablespoons of Crisco

34 Tablespoons of ice water

1/2 Tablespoons salt


Step 1: Beat together the pumpkin, milk, eggs, sugar, cinnamon, ginger, salt and butter.

Step 2: Pour into the shell of the crust

Step 3: Bake at 375 for about 40 minutes or until golden in color

I went a step further and found an instructional pie crust video on You Tube by Howdini and a Pumpkin Pie recipe demonstration by Martha Stewart and her niece Sophie from a Family Recipe.

The University of Illinois, has a wealth of information on Pumpkins. For example, did you know that References to pumpkins date back many centuries. The name pumpkin originated from the Greek word for “large melon” which is “pepon.” “Pepon” was nasalized by the French into “pompon.” The English changed “pompon” to “Pumpion.” Shakespeare referred to the “pumpion” in his Merry Wives of Windsor. American colonists changed “pumpion” into “pumpkin.” The “pumpkin” is referred to in The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, Peter, Peter, Pumpkin Eater and Cinderella.

Native Americans dried strips of pumpkin and wove them into mats. They also roasted long strips of pumpkin on the open fire and ate them. The origin of pumpkin pie occurred when the colonists sliced off the pumpkin top, removed the seeds, and filled the insides with milk, spices and honey. The pumpkin was then baked in hot ashes.

You can read more at the University of Illinois Extension, where they cover all about “Pumpkins and More” like, Pumpkin History, Varieties, Nutrition, Recipes, Education, Pumpkin Farms, Halloween Links, Pumpkin Facts, Growing Pumpkins, Selection & Use, Pumpkin Fun and Festivals.

Pasta alla Norma

Penne rigate pasta with grilled eggplant, ricotta salata, and basil. The dish was named after the Sicilian composer Bellini‘s hugely successful opera Norma to honor both the dish and the opera.

The ideal wine should be medium-bodied with a persistent flavor. If you like red I suggest Cerasuolo di Vittoria from Sicily which is a blend of Frappato and Nero D’Avola with low tannins or a 100% Nero D’Avola. Malvasia del Lazio or Falanghina would also be great pairing with this classic dish.


  • 1.5 lb. penne rigate pasta
    read the pasta label for appropriate cooking time.
  • 1 large eggplant
  • 1 medium size onion
  • 3 oz. aged ricotta salata, grated
  • 1 oz. aged ricotta salata, shaved
  • 2 garlic cloves finely chopped
  • 1/5 lb. fresh tomatoes or canned if you like
  • 1 oz.Olive oil
  • 10 basil leaves
  • 1 tablespoon of salt
  • pepper to taste

Slice the eggplant and place in layers on a cutting board or a dish. Sprinkle abundant salt on each layer of eggplants as you stack them. Place another cutting board or dish on top of the stack and a weight on top of the cutting board or dish for one hour until the bitter water seeps out of the eggplant.

  • Grill or bake the eggplant and cut in medium chunks.
  • Dice the onion in medium pieces and blanch in boiling water then drain.

In a sauce pan over medium heat add the olive oil, garlic, the blanched onion and the tomatoes. Cook for thirty five minutes over medium heat, remove from heat, add fresh oil and basil, then strain the sauce. Once the sauce is strained add the eggplant and mix in the grated ricotta.

In a large pot, bring the water to a boil, add salt and the penne. Cook until al dente and drain. Put the pasta in a large serving dish and top with the sauce, and sprinkle with the shaved ricotta salata and a few more basil leaves and serve. This recipe serves six.

Recipe courtesy of ISABELLA ITALIAN BISTRO in Tarrytown, NY