Pumpkin muffins, pumpkin pie, pumpkin risotto…the options are endless, and endlessly mouth-watering.
As you probably already have read on my previous post (if not, you can read a pumpkin muffins recipe by clicking here) I have bought from the market pumpkins.
After making my sweet little muffins I still had some pumpkin left. Also on the fridge I had some pancetta and parmesan. Can you see where it goes? Risotto with pumpkin and pancetta. It really was meant to be. Risotto is one of my favourite dishes and the combination of pumpkin and pancetta made it even better.
Risotto is a northern Italian rice dish cooked in a broth to a creamy consistency. The broth can be derived from meat, fish, or vegetables. Many types of risotto contain butter, wine, and onion. In order to make a perfect risotto there are some rules you really should pay the needed attention.
Rule No. 1: Use the right rice
You can’t make risotto with just any rice. Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are the best varieties of rice for making a risotto. Arborio is also a good variety of rice – not as good as the previous two – but it is still a great choice for risotto. Most of the times I use Arborio since the other two types is difficult for me to find. Whatever the choice you should not rinse your rice before cooking.
Rule No. 2: Toast the rice
The rice should be toasted before adding the liquid. You are not just gonna throw all the ingredients in the pot and let it cook.
Rule No. 3: Have patience
Risotto is not a kind of preparation that can be left unattended. It will require some 20 minutes of undivided attention since broth should be added gradually. While, towards the end the amount of the broth should be added carefully in order to add the proper amount for a perfect creaminess to be created without overcooking the rice. Have in mind that risotto needs to be constantly tended, it shouldn’t be overworked. There’s no need to keep stirring or stirring it too often, or it won’t absorb the liquid properly. Furthermore, stirring too much will break the grains and might cause the starch to turn gluey.
Rule No. 4: “Mantecature”
‘Mantecare’ is an Italian word that has no direct translation. It is the process of adding fat at the end of a preparation (off-fire) to make it creamier and finish it off with the right touch.
They key ingredients that I used for making one of the most delicious risotto dishes that I have ever eaten were the following:
- 1 tbsp. olive oil
- 1 medium onion
- about 1 and 1/2 cups of pumpkin, cubed
- 200 g pancetta, cubed (you can also use bacon)
- 1 cups rice
- 1 tablespoon dry white wine
- 3 hot cups chicken broth
- 1 sprig fresh rosemary
- 3 to 4 dried porcini mushrooms
- 2 teaspoon unsalted butter
- 1/2 cups grated Parmesan cheese
- salt and freshly ground pepper
STEP 1: Prepare your ingredients
Cut onion, pumpkin and pancetta into small cubes and set aside.
STEP 2: Start making the risotto
In a large saucepan over medium-high heat, heat olive oil. Add onion and pancetta, cook for about 15 minutes or until the onions are tender and the bacon is just starting to crisp. Then, add pumpkin and cook until softened, 6 to 8 minutes, stirring often.
Add rice, stirring with a wooden spoon until each kernel is coated with oil. Add wine and stir until combined.
Add the chicken broth, a ladleful at a time, stirring well and waiting for most of the stock to be absorbed before adding the next ladleful – it will take about 20 mins for all the stock to be added. Together with the first ladleful of chicken broth add rosemary and mushrooms to rice mixture.
Cook until most of liquid has been absorbed and rice is slightly al dente, yet creamy, about 20 minutes. Add butter and ¼ cup parmesan and stir to combine. Season with salt and pepper and serve with remaining parmesan.
I hope to enjoyed the post and to try the recipe, the risotto is really tastefull!I’ll be happy to read your comments!