Seasonal risotto with roasted pumpkin
I have to confess that I had another recipe in mind, in fact this morning I went to the farmers market in Rio Tera' dei Pensieri exactly to buy the key ingredient: the batata, a delicious tuber that looks like a potato but is completely orange and characterised by a sweet taste and that, differently from sweet potatoes, requires only 15 minutes to cook (women who live in Venice: try it, believe me!!!!). Unfortunately when I arrived ... it was finished. I don't know if you can imagine how disappointed I was, anyway I had to quickly think of an alternative and my eyes fell on the pumpkins and beets.
I'm saving the beets for tomorrow and going to make the pumpkin instead! I generally buy half, being just two of us in the house a whole pumpkin is too much. For a nice risotto I will need just about three slices, in fact I'm planning to bake the rest in the oven for 45 minutes with some olive oil, 2 crushed garlic cloves, a pinch of salt and some sesame seeds, so I can also put a side dish on the table! For the risotto, as already mentioned in other posts, the most important thing is the quality of the stock. I'm using chicken stock, with this cold I find that its fattier texture adds extra creaminess to this first course, but if you are vegetarian a veg stock will do just fine! If you can, make it ahead of time and store it, otherwise, if you have nothing ready, don't panic: just stick an onion, some celery and a sliced carrot in some water and boil. It won't be exactly the same thing, but it's still a much better solution than using stock cubes!!! I haven't been able to find any decent cube, they all seem to be full of MSG (monosodium glutamate) and honestly... using Bartleby's words "I would prefer not to!", but if you have other methods I would be happy to hear them!
Anyway, this pumpkin risotto was delicious: simple, creamy and super flavoursome. To contrast the sweetness of the pumpkin I used garlic, a couple of anchovies and some ground pepper. Rosemary is the ideal herb, tasty but not over powerful, just perfect! Let me know if you enjoyed it too and buon appetito amici!
RECIPE: RISOTTO WITH ROASTED PUMKIN
FOR THE STOCK:
A quarter of a chicken
2 celery sticks, carrots, tomatoes, onions
METHOD: Prepare the stock in advance. Wash and chop all the vegetables, heat a pot, add oil and a crushed clove of garlic and the vegetables. Stir, remove the garlic, add the quarter of a chicken and about 2 litres of water. Bring to boil, add salt, lower the heat and let cook until you obtain more or less 3/4 of a litre of liquid. When ready, remove the meat, drain the rest, filter well and keep aside.
INGREDIENTS (Serves 2)
1/2 lt chicken stock
160 gr Carnaroli rice
3 slices of pumpkin
grated Parmesan to cream and to garnish
1 garlic clove
1 rosemary sprig
extra virgin olive oil
1) Heat the oven at 200°, grease some parchment paper, chop 3 slices of pumpkin and bake for about 15 minutes, grill for the last 5.
2) When ready let cool and remove skin. Cut in small squares and keep aside.
3) Bring the stock to boil, then heat a pan, pour a few drops of olive oil, a crushed clove of garlic, the rosemary, the two anchovies and toast the rice for a couple of minutes. Finally add the pumpkin, remove the rosemary sprig and start adding the stock gradually.
4) Keep stirring at low heat and cream adding the stock little by little and some grated parmesan at the end. Cook for the time indicated on your pack (usually it's 15-18 minutes).
5) When ready, let the risotto sit for about 5 minutes. Garnish with some grated parmesan and pepper.