Tuesday, 29 December 2009

Creamy Pumpkin Risotto

Whenever we buy and crack a whole pumpkin this dish is a must along with cream of pumpkin, ravioli, and of course, a pie. It's a bit of a pain to dissect a pumpkin, but once done it is good for several great dishes, and steamed and mashed pumpkin can be frozen as well for future use. Hack the pumpkin in half, empty the inside (seeds & stringy stuff) and slice into wedges, about 4-5 cm at the widest, steam them in a large pot, 15-20 minutes counting from the boiling point should be enough.

Creamy Pumpkin Risotto

for 4 people
320g carnaroli rice
1 medium onion, chopped
100g speck (or English style bacon), finely julienned
30g butter
360g cooked pumpkin, roughly mashed or diced
1/2 tsp ground nutmeg
500ml boiling hot vegetable broth
100g soft-semi soft cheese, recommended: robiola for mild flavour, smoked provola (diced) for more piquant flavour
freshly grated parmigiano reggiano or grana padano

-sautè the onion and speck in butter in a medium sauce pan.
-when the onions are soft, add the rice, continue to sautè, tossing frequently, until the rice grains become partially transparent.
-Add the pumpkin pulp and nutmeg, turn up the heat and cook on the high heat, stirring frequently and thoroughly, until the pumpkin reaches the boiling point.
-start adding the broth, 1 ladle at a time. When the broth is mostly absorbed, add another ladle. Stir frequently.
-continuè to cook in this fashion for about 20 minutes, until the rice becomes al dente. the broth need to be hot, so reheat the remaining broth as you cook, as needed.
-When the rice attains the desirable texture, slightly al dente, melt the cheese into the risotto and blend it in thoroughly.

Serve immediately with generous serving of parmigiano/grana padano.

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