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Monday, December 12, 2011

Pumpkin Risotto

After looking back on all my risotto recipes, I have decided that the first cookbook I try to write will be dedicated to this delicious meal. Risotto, year round, with seasonal and local foods. Sounds like a winner to me. If there was a risotto cookbook out there, I would buy it....but then again, I'm obsessed with those plump, moist, creamy grains of rice.

I had some left-over pumpkin from something else I made, and couldn't resist combining the two. Pumpkin is creamy. Risotto is creamy. It seemed perfect. Even my kids, who are adamant that they hate squash even though the eat it all the time (in my sneaky chef ways), devoured this meal. They even exclaimed that I make the best food ever. And this was not one of those times I cooked an ingredient into a meal without telling them. My 5 year old helped me stir the risotto (the most important job), and he saw me poor the pumpkin in. It was just that good....even knowing it had pumpkin in it, they licked their plates clean. This will be in my winter rotational menu to use up all those delicious squash I'll be getting from my winter CSA at Little Ridge Farm in Lisbon.

Pumpkin Risotto Serves 4
1/2 small pumpkin, baked or steamed, then mashed
1 C arborio rice
1 C white wine
4-5 C stock
1 small onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, chopped
2 T olive oil
2 T butter
1/4 C parmesan cheese (fresh is best - if you don't have any, use another type, avoid powdered parm)
salt & pepper

In a large pan heat oil over medium-low heat. Add in onions and garlic, stir to coat with oil, and saute for 5 minutes. Meanwhile, in a sauce pan, heat stock to a boil then lower to a simmer. Add rice to onions and garlic and stir. Saute for 2 minutes, just until a golden color emerges from rice. Add wine and start stirring. Slowly add about 1 cup of stock when liquid in pan is absorbed. Stir constantly. The rice should be al dente when done, taste it throughout the cooking. When adding the final cup of stock, add the pumpkin. Stir thoroughly until done. Add butter and cheese, salt and pepper as desired. Serve immediately.*

We had ours on a bed of sauteed kale, which was divine. The risotto can also be a stand alone meal, served alongside some meat, or a salad and bread. Whichever way you have it, enjoy the creamy goodness of the pumpkin.

*It is important to not let risotto sit or it will become rubbery and gooey.

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