Updated: Oct 19, 2018
by Ippolita Douglas Scotti:
The pumpkin is the symbol of Fall. In ancient times, the pumpkin was consumed only by farmers. Nowadays, the best gourmet restaurants in Italy serve the delicious, richly flavored Pumpkin Risotto that follows, and I'm sure you will fall in love with it too!
The sweet taste of pumpkin is perfect for this creamy risotto. I used to cook this dish always following the traditional recipe, originally from the northern regions of Italy like Lombardia and the Veneto, which grows the best Italian rice qualities.
This risotto is a classic seasonal recipe in those places where farmers traditionally grow this type of vegetable.
It is a very sweet and delicate dish, which can be prepared only with pumpkin or enriched with other tasty ingredients such as sausage, bacon, fontina cheese—even blue cheese.
You must try it with blue cheese because its strong flavor is delicious with the sweet of the pumpkin.
The first thing you must do is choose the right pumpkin for your risotto. The choice of pumpkin is very important because without a good one, it is impossible to get a good risotto. If you buy the pumpkin in slices, choose the one with the most vibrant color. It has to be very orange, and the pulp has to be firm. If you buy the whole pumpkin, you need to knock it repeatedly on the whole of the vegetable, and if you get a dull noise, this will be a good sign. The presence of dents on the surface of the pumpkin is NOT a good sign.
You can also cook this special risotto for Halloween and serve it in a carved pumpkin!
Risotto di Zucca
1 cup (200 grams) Carnaroli rice
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 cup, dry white wine
1 liter vegetable stock
1 shallot, diced
2 cups (400 grams) pumpkin, peeled and cut into 2 cm cubes
1 tablespoon butter
Grated Parmesan Cheese
Dash of nutmeg
Salt & Pepper
Peel and dice the pumpkin. Heat the vegetable broth. Heat oil in large pan and cook shallot until softened.
Add rice, stirring to 'toast' it slightly for a few minutes.
Add pumpkin and stir.
Add wine and cook until it is completely absorbed.
Add one ladle of stock, stirring until the stock is absorbed. Reduce heat, add salt.
Continue adding the stock, one ladle at a time, letting it absorb as directed above.
When you have added all the stock, check to see if the rice is tender.
Add the butter and some grated Parmesan cheese. Stir through until melted.
Season to taste with salt, nutmeg, and pepper.
Remove from heat.
Serve topped with grated Parmesan.