Thursday, January 21, 2010
Pumpkin Risotto (Risotto Con La Zucca)
In the fall when the trees are turning those delicious hues of yellow, red, and orange, I seem to crave those very same colors on my plate and I have found that squash is one of the best ways to achieve this! In Italy risotto made with winter squash is very popular during the colder months which isn't surprising because risotto's rich creaminess goes quite well with winter squash's sharp sweetness. And as if that's not enough add to this, already near perfect dish, butter and cheese..............What, may I ask, could possibly be more comforting on a cold, wet, fallish day?
One 29 ounce can pumpkin puree ~OR~ 3 1/2 cups fresh pumpkin cut up and cooked tender
6 tablespoons butter
2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 small onion finely chopped or grated
1/2 cup white wine
61/2 cups simmering chicken stock (I use a small pot set up on another burner and a ladle)
2 1/2 cups Arborio rice (This is Italian rice and it is very different from regular rice)
3/4 cup Parmesan cheese grated (plus more for serving)
Heat half of the butter and all of the oil in a large pan and saute onions until it is tender but not brown. Add the risotto and stir until the rice turns translucent and you can see the center of each rice kernel .
Add the pumpkin and cook for 10 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of the boiling water and 1/2 cup wine and salt, continue cooking on medium heat (Too high and it will plop out of the pan and all over your kitchen!) stirring here and there. Until the rice has absorbed the liquid.
Pour in another cup ( 2 ladles) of simmering water and cook this until the rice has *absorbed the liquid. Continue doing this until you have used all of the simmering water. This takes 20 minutes and you can leave the stove here and there to to other things in the kitchen, you do not have to "babysit" the risotto but you do have to stir it often. Taste and see if it is done cooking. It will be tender with a slight bite in the center.
Stir in the rest of the butter and the cheese gently.
Serve with additional cheese!
*absorbed the liquid: Because of the puree it will not be as dry as regular risotto. I knew it was dry enough when I could scrape the spoon across the bottom and see the bottom of the pan just for a quick second.
If you have any other questions about cooking risotto go here: Risotto Basics