When I first heard of risotto, I thought it was such a dumb dish. “It’s a freakin’ dinner porridge!” is what I’d always say every time risotto came up in a conversation.
Just goes to show you how a lack of understanding can lead to hatred. (´･ω･`) To be honest, I really had no idea what a risotto was. It seemed to me like another pretentious Italian dish that for some reason escaped American bastardization. I was wrong of course, and now risotto has become one of my favourite things to cook. Particularly this one because I LOVE PUMPKIN!!! ＼(＾O＾)／
So here’s my take on Risotto alla Zucca!! Not traditional Italian in any way, but that’s why I said it’s MY TAKE.
Ingredients per person
1/3 to 1/2 cup arborio rice*
1 tbsp butter (15g)*
1 to 1&1/2 cup chicken stock***
2 tbsp pumpkin or butternut squash purée
25g parmigian-reggiano cheese, grated****
1/2 brown onion
1/4 cup diced pumpkin or butternut squash
1/2 tsp chinese five spice
1 tbsp sour cream*****
salt/pepper to taste
italian parsley for garnish
1. Finely dice onion and dice pumpkin or squash into squares. Lightly season with salt and pepper.
2. Melt butter in saucepan on medium heat and heat up chicken stock until it simmers.
3. Throw in onion and diced pumpkin into butter and sautée on medium until onion becomes translucent.
4. Throw in your rice, toast until the edges of the rice become slightly translucent. Turn up the heat to medium-high at this point.
5. Start adding your chicken stock to the rice, one ladle at a time, stirring CONSTANTLY and waiting for the rice to absorb all the liquid before adding the next.
6. About halfway through the chicken stock, stir in some pumpkin purée and Chinese five-spice. NOTE: If your purée has been in the fridge, it will cool down the rice and slow down the cooking process. Wait for the rice to heat up again before adding more stock if that’s the case.
7. Once all the stock is used up, remove from heat (even if rice hasn’t completely absorbed the last ladle of stock as it will continue to cook in the pan) and throw in all the cheese, a spoon of sour cream, and stir it all in until it’s fully incorporated.
8. Flatten out the rice in the pan so none of the liquid can separate (YOU WANT THE STOCK AND THE RICE TO MARRRYYYY), cover with a lid, and set aside for 5 minutes.
(Optional) 9. At this point I like to rest my serving plates on top of the pot I used to heat the stock, since risotto is best served fresh on hot plates.
10. 5 minutes later, remove the lid from the risotto, give it another stir, and portion onto plates. Garnish with Italian parsley, serve hot.
*(1/2 is more traditional, you know, back when people actually did physical labour and needed more food. I recommend 1/3 if you’re small or an office worker.)
**(Dieters, please don’t cut the butter. Just lower the amount of rice and you’ll get a slightly smaller portion of extra-creamy risotto. ⊂(◉‿◉)つ)
***(depending on your rice portion, but 1:3 is a good ratio)
****(NORTH AMERICANS, PLEASE DO NOT USE “GRATED PARMESAN”. IT’S NOT THE SAME THING.)
*****(you’ll use this instead of butter for the mantecatura)