When caramelised pumpkin and risotto come together it is a beautiful partnership. The deep intense and slightly sweet flavours of butternut pumpkin with the creaminess of the risotto rice create a dish that will feature in your kitchen again and again.
If you’ve never made risotto before, we recommend that you read the following:
There are a few risotto rices available. Rices suitable for risotto have a creamy, chewy texture due to its higher amylopectin (one of two components in its starch) content. Aborio is a very popular risotto rice, but it is fun to experiment with different rices. Your Italian grocery will most likely stock alternative risotto rices. There is an argument that aborio is not the best rice for risotto. Most recommended alternatives are carnaroli and vialone nano. Currently I have been using Riso Vialone Nano, and it is a cracker. Vialone Nano has a round, thick grain and a kernel that is very unlikely to break. It is good for risottos with robust ingredients- and it is now a favourite.
Pre-prep is possible with this recipe – in the morning, even the night before, put the pumpkin on to roast and beautifully caramelise.
Caramelised Pumpkin Risotto
1/2 butternut pumpkin
100 g butter
1 med red onion
200g arborio rice
80 g parmesan cheese
optional: 50 ml extra dry white vermouth
First roast the pumpkin using the caramelisation method.
When the pumpkin has cooled, scrape the pumpkin flesh from the skins and reserve with the juices.
Melt 50g of the butter and 1 Tblspn olive oil in a large pan, and gently fry the onion until it is soft, about 15 minutes. Add the rice and continue to make a risotto following the Risotto Basics, with around 750 ml – 1 litre of stock.
When the rice is cooked, add the remaining butter in small pieces, the pumpkin, slightly mashed, the parsley, and the vermouth if using.
In this risotto, I also used some of the dried peppers that I made about a month ago. I put them in with the stock and they rehydrated beautifully.