Pumpkin Risotto With An Amaretto Crumb
Carmela's Original Recipe
Risotto di Zucca e’ Amaretti
Pumpkin Risotto with an amaretto crumb
Risotto hails from the Northern regions of Italy while offering a few different choices of this versatile rice grain to boot. Arborio rice being the most popular rice in the UK, quickly followed by Carnaroli. It is vital that risotto rice is used as each grain becomes voluptuous and the end results are simply sublime. Pour yourself a glass of wine and stir the risotto slowly with your tool of choice being a wooden spoon with a hole in the centre. This hole will aid in a creamy finale as you stir releasing the rice’s natural starch. Finish with Parmigiano and butter.
Preparation time: 10 minutes
Cooking time: 30 minutes
Small pumpkin or squash
½ tsp. Nutmeg, freshly grated
Salt and pepper
300ml Double cream
4 tbsp. olive oil
2 banana shallots, peeled, chopped
1 garlic clove, peeled, crushed
Parsley, small bunch, chopped including stems
500g Carnaroli rice
200ml white wine (or white vermouth)
1.5lt vegetable stock
Salt and pepper, to season
2 tbsp. celery leaves, chopped
100g Parmigiano Reggiano, grated
50g Amaretti biscotti, Hard ones, broken into uneven crumbs
Make the pumpkin puree.
Halve the pumpkin and remove all the seeds. Spread the seeds onto a baking tray and sprinkle with salt. Roast until just coloured. The pumpkin seeds make a tasty snack. Slice the pumpkin body into 4cm slices and place the slices onto a parchment covered baking tray. Sprinkle with a little salt and a drizzle of olive oil. Roast 190C until tender, possibly 40 minutes of so.
Once tender, remove the pumpkin from the oven and peel away and discard the skin. Place the pumpkin into a food processor and blitz for 30 seconds.
Pour in the double cream, freshly grated nutmeg and a generous pinch of salt and pepper. Blitz until incorporated.
Mouli – Add a few tablespoons at a time of the pumpkin mixture to a mouli or sieve. Push through or turn with a spatula to remove any fibres. This will result and leave you with the most wonderful silky puree. Taste for additional seasoning, cover and set aside until required.
Heat the vegetable stock up.
Add the olive oil to a large saucepan and tumble in the chopped shallots and garlic. Cook on a low heat for 5 minutes.
Add the rice and stir. Toast for one minute before pouring in the white wine. Reduce until the wine has evaporated. Sprinkle in half of the parsley.
Slowly ladle by ladle add the stock to the pan and stir. Once the rice has absorbed a ladle of stock, simply add another.
Cook the risotto for about 15 minutes then add the puree. Stir and allow the risotto to absorb the puree liquid. Continue to add stock until the risotto rice is cooked but with a delicate aldente bite. Taste and check for additional salt and pepper, scatter in the remaining parsley and celery leaves.
Add the butter and Parmigiano, stir and clamp on a lid for 10 minutes for the risotto to rest.
Ladle onto plates. Tap the bottom of the plate so the risotto falls beautifully into a single layer. Scatter over the crumbled amaretti biscotti. Serve with additional Parmigiano.
Carmela’s tip:I like to use a crown prince squash. The squash provides such a wonderful amber colour with a silky smooth texture.