Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Pumpkin Risotto

Rice is born in water and must die in wine.
Italian Proverb

I know I've said how much I love risotto in the past. This was another experiment. I'm sure it would have been better with fresher ingredients but I tried my best with what I wanted to use up. I had some leftover pumpkin frozen that I wanted to use up. At first I wasn't sure that I liked this recipe but it really grew on me. I brought this over to a friend's house and we ate it as a side dish for some breaded tilapia and salad. I had originally intended on this being a main course, but many people don't see risotto as the centerpiece to a meal so it became our side dish. I think it was less overpowering as an accompaniment to something else. The almond flavor was very strong in my opinion. I should have either used less cookies (mine we so small I increased from 4 to 6 cookies) or omitted them and used something else. I think a ginger snap (while being less Italian) would have been a welcome flavor.

Pumpkin Risotto (adapted from FXcuisine.com)

4-5 cups chicken broth

3/4 cup arborio rice
3/4 cup sweet white wine
1 medium white onion, chopped
3 tbsp European style butter
1 cups pumpkin flesh
6 small amaretti cookies
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated

  1. Start by melting 1 tbsp butter with a little oil in the large pot. Gently fry the onions. DO NOT let them become brown.
  2. As soon as the onions are soft, pour in your rice.
  3. Mix the rice with the fat and onions over high heat for about 2 minutes or until every rice grain is coated with butter and they toast slightly.
  4. Pour in wine and stir briskly so that all of the rice will coated with wine.
  5. When the wine has completely evaporated, add one generous ladle of stock and mix briskly.
  6. Stir the rice every 20 seconds. Continue adding one ladle of broth at a time as it evaporates.
  7. After about 10 minutes, add the pumpkin flesh to the rice and mix. Continue to cook as before with another ladle of broth, making sure the risotto never sticks.
  8. Crumble your amaretti in a mortar. Be sure to leave larger crumbs to add interest to the dish.
  9. Add the amaretti crumbles to the risotto and mix in. Continue to cook, tasting every 30 seconds now, until they rice is almost done.
  10. First remove the pot from the heat and let it rest for 1 minute covered. Then cut the rest of your butter in small and add them to the rice. Mix in the butter.
  11. Grate the Parmesan and add it to the risotto. Mix it in.

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