Chef Time!

Chef Time!

Monday, October 29, 2012

Pumpkins Pumpkins and More Pumpkins!


This time of year when pumpkins are plentiful, I try to find new twists on their preparation.  This is one of my favorite risotto recipes that exudes pumpkin flavor.  Small sugar pumpkins are best and can easily be found at the market, but you can experiment with other varieties.  Take this dish from comfort style to sublime with a drizzle truffle oil and a garnish of crispy fried sage leaves.  Bon Appetito!

pumpkin risotto

Pumpkin Risotto
For the Pumpkin:
2 tbsp. olive oil
½ pound fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and cut into 3/4-inch dice (1 1/3 cups)
2 medium white onions, finely diced
¾ c. dry Riesling
1 ½ tsp. freshly grated nutmeg
About 1 tsp. freshly ground white pepper
1 tsp. salt
For the Rice:
7 c. Vegetable Stock for Risotto or canned low-sodium chicken broth
5 tbsp. unsalted butter
1 ½ c. arborio rice (about 11 ounces)
3 tbsp. finely chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley (optional)
1/2 c. freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for serving
FOR THE PUMPKIN:
Heat the oil in a nonreactive medium saucepan. Add the pumpkin and half of the onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the pumpkin is just tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the wine, nutmeg, white pepper and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly. In a food processor, puree the pumpkin mixture until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.
FOR THE RICE:
In a medium saucepan, bring the Vegetable Stock for Risotto to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep the stock hot. In a nonreactive medium saucepan, heat 2-1/2 tablespoons of the butter until it begins to sizzle. Add the rice and the remaining onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Immediately stir in 1 cup of the hot stock and cook, stirring constantly, until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.
Reduce the heat to moderate and gradually add 3 more cups of the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring and cooking until each cup is almost absorbed before adding the next, about 15 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Continue adding the remaining 3 cups stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring and cooking as above, until the rice is tender, about 10 minutes longer. The risotto will be quite loose. Stir in the parsley and the remaining 2-1/2 tablespoons butter.
TO SERVE:
Spoon the risotto into 6 warmed soup plates and sprinkle the Parmesan on top. Serve immediately.

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