Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Cut the
pumpkin in half and remove the seeds. Place the pumpkin cut side down on
a baking sheet. Bake about 45 minutes or until tender but not mush. The
pumpkin flesh should be firm enough to cut into 1/2 inch cubes or
slices. Sprinkle with salt and pepper.
Bring 1 cup of the stock to a boil in a
saucepan and cook the onions in it, uncovered, over moderate heat until
tender. When most of the liquid has evaporated, sprinkle the onions with
sugar and cook until the onions begin to caramelize. Add the vinegar and
the remaining stock and continue to cook until deep golden brown but not
burned. Add water if the mixture seems dry; the onions should end up in
a sweet and sour syrup. Toss the pumpkin cubes with the onion mixture
and stir well to coat. Sprinkle with coarsely chopped mint.
Note: If you can't find a nice pumpkin,
butternut or banana squash will do and can be prepared the same way.
A specialty of Palermo, this dish is known
as Fegato ai Sette Cannoli, or "Liver from the Seven Fountains".
Sicilians think cooked squash has the meaty texture of liver, though
there is no taste comparison. Sette cannoli refers to a seven spouted
fountain in the Vucceria market.
Instead of frying the pumpkin squash in
the traditional style, bake it, then cut it into cubes. The onions are
cooked in a sweet and sour sauce that is then tossed with the cooked
pumpkin, and the mixture is topped with fresh mint. This dish keeps for
a few days in the refrigerator.