Pumpkins and Nergi pizza

Offering food to the dead is a tradition which exists in all cultures, since ancient times. the Egyptians and other ancient peoples used to put some food in the tomb of their dead as refreshment for their journey to the afterlife. In 835 A.D Pope Gregory IV changed the date of All Saints’ Day for the Christian Community from the 13th  of May to the 1st of November. The close association with All Souls’ Day was then established the following day, the 2nd of November.
To honor the beloved dead, people used to dress up like angels, saints and devils and they used to make bonfires. In 1474, Pope Sixtus IV made this solemnity compulsory for the entire Western Church. 
Foods offered to the souls of the dead coming back from afterlife are the symbol of the gifts they bring from heaven and at the same time they symbolize a refreshment for their journey, as it was in Egypt. 
With this custom people wanted to exorcize the fear of death and of the unknown.
That’s how a new culinary tradition completely devoted to this celebration was born.
Today our culture is strongly influenced by other cultures,  particularly by the  American culture and our traditions are superseded by foreigner ones. Nowadays we speak less and less about the commemoration of the dead, we rather celebrate Halloween.
Few people know that Halloween is not a celebration born in America; It has Irish origins and it dates back the Celts age. The name Halloween is a contraction of All Hallow’s Eve which means All Saints’ Eve.
This was the day of the Celtic New Year’s Eve (Samhain). For this population of shepherds it started on November, 1st when flocks were brought downstream because of the fast-approaching cold.  .
Samhain was a feast made to celebrate the beginning of a new year and the end of fine weather and thus the death was the main theme of this event.
Good seasons were over, the land stopped producing fruit above-ground, however under the ground something was appearing. According to Celtic legends  exactly on this occasion Samahin called the spirits of the dead and allowed them to wander on the Earth. In this way they mixed the world of the living with the one of the dead, in an atmosphere mid-way between celebration and terror, fear and joy. 
On the night of 31st October Celts lit fires in the woods, they wore masks and sacrificed animals, then they wandered with the light of lanterns for three days wearing the skin of sacrificed animals in order to frighten the dead and to force them to return underground.



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Ingredients for a baking pan of  24/26 cm diameter

12.5 oz untreated hard wheat flour  
6.25 oz 00 flour
0.9 oz dried sourdough or 0.4 oz brewer’s
100 ml warm water (max 37°C)
1 teaspoon of  honey
15.6 oz gumpkins
9.4 oz salami
9.4 oz sweet and soft gorgonzola  blue cheese
8.75 oz  Nergi
Extra-virgin olive oil q.s.
Herbes de Provence q.s.
Salt  q.s.

Directions
Slice up the pumpkins. The slices must be 0.8 inch thick and they must keep their peel.

Put them in a dripping pan coated with baking paper and sprinkle with a tbs of fine herbs (thyme, marjoram, basil) and fine salt, spray with a little olive oil and bake 200°C. for 25 min. 


Once it is baked, remove the peel and crush with a fork (not mixer).
In a bowl mix the flours with the baking powder, combine the pumpkins and slowly the water, knead until the mixture is soft (if necessary, add a little bit of warm water or some flour if it is too hard. The consistency of the dough depends on the quantity of water contained in the pumpkins), broaden the dough and add two tbs of olive oil and the salt then knead.



Let the dough rise until the volume has doubled away from air flowing, then grease a baking pan and pose the dough, broaden it beginning from the centre towards the edges of the pan, push well with your fingertips and spray a little oil. 




Spread the gorgonzola cheese and the salami on it. Cover the dough and let rise for a further hour




Bake (preheated oven at 200°C) and cook for 20/25 minutes. In the meantime, wash the Nergi and cut them in thin slices. Remove from the oven, spread the Nergi slices and serve. 
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