One of my favourite times of the year is pumpkin season.
Pumpkins are not just for Halloween, yes it is fun to carve them but you can do so much better with them...in the kitchen.
Every year I always buy several pumpkins and I like to line them up in my little "cantina" or cellar... or that's the way I like to call it (I do miss my "proper" Italian cellar though!). In reality this is a corridor, a cool place in the house, where I keep my pantry and I can also store my fruit and veg in the winter. It works well and it is just next to the kitchen.
My favourite type of pumpkin is the one with a sweet and deeply nutty flavor, so not those large halloween pumpkins you see in supermarkets but these are smaller pumpkins with a drier and more compact consistency. They are great roasted and ideal for making pumpkin gnocchi too.
I have mentioned before that evey year my dad always plants lots and lots of pumpkins in his field and my parents have so many of them that they end up eating pumpkins for months! If that is not an addiction than what else can you call it? And I have certainly inherited some of it too.
Enjoy this super creamy risotto recipe. This time I have whizzed the pumpkin so the risotto is even creamier and I stirred fried the mushrooms separately to make them tastier.
We all loved it!
- Prep Time : 25 minutes
- Cook Time : 40 minutes
- Yield : 4
- rice for risotto - 350 g - just over 1 + 1/2 cup
- raw pumpkin - 400 g - sligthly less than 2 cups
- mushrooms of your choice - 400 g - slightly less than 4 cups
- onion - 1
- garlic clove - 1
- sage leaves - 3
- white wine - dash
- olive oil
- salt and pepper
- grated parmesan cheese - 2 tbsp
- chopped parsley - 1 tbsp
- butter - knob
Cut and peel the pumpkin and then dice it. Bring to the boil 1 liter or 34 fl oz of salty water and cook the pumpkin until soft, this will take about 10 to 15 minutes. Check with a fork if it is cooked.
When it is soft, fish it up with a slotted spoon, put it in a processor and whiz it to a puree consistency. Do not throw away the cooking water as you will use it to cook your risotto.
Clean the mushrooms with a damp cloth then slice them finely. Finely chop the garlic clove and stir fry it in a pan with 2 tbsp of olive oil; add the mushrooms, a pinch of salt and cook them for 5 to 8 minutes until soft whilst stirring them from time to time.
Chop the onion finely. In a pan stir fry it with a tbsp of olive oil, add the rice and toast it for a couple of minutes. Add the wine and let it evaporate for a minute or so. Add enough pumpkin's cooking water to cover the rice and then add the pumpkin puree, the sage leaves, salt and pepper. Continue topping up with the liquid as it dries out and stir from time to time. Cook your rice for about 18 minutes or according to packet instructions.
During the last 5 minutes of cooking add the mushrooms. When it is cooked add a knob of butter, the parmesan cheese and the parsley. Stir well and serve immediately.