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Pumpkin risotto is a blaze of colour, a first course with a very special and delicate flavour, due to its main ingredient, pumpkin. Its taste is enhanced by the Parmesan cheese, used to make it thicken. It is an autumn dish, perfect if served on a cold autumn evening, when we all start counting down the days till Christmas. It is a traditional countryside recipe. Pumpkin, in fact, is an inexpensive but versatile vegetable, which farmers used to make nutricious risottos, as well as ravioli and soups. In autumn, they would sit in thier kitchens, while wine was already bubbling in the barrels. Then they would gather around the fire, talking and listening to the news and stories.
300g/10.5oz Carnaroli rice
1l/34oz meat broth
100ml/3.3oz dry white wine
First prepare the broth, then cook the pumpkin in the oven, after cutting it into large chunks. Leave both the peel and the seeds. Turn on the oven to a 220°C/430°F temperature. No preheating is required. Bake for 40 minutes.
The pumpkin’s orange colour will grow more intense, tending towards brown at the edges. Baking will provide the pumpkin with a delicious flavour. Chop up the onion and brown it on your gas hob, in a deep saucepan, with one third of the butter, then stir in the pumpkin you will have cut into cubes. Add the rice and sauté. Stir with a wooden spoon, so that it doesn’t stick. Pour the wine and let it evaporate, then continue to cook for 15 minutes adding the broth little by little.
After cooking, remove from the heat, and melt in the remaining butter and the grated Parmesan cheese. Serve hot, if possible with a glass of Lambrusco wine.