A deliciously creamy and hearty, golden risotto with Hokkaido pumpkin and Gorgonzola.
A new month and a new series on Where Is My Spoon. Finally, something with pumpkin/squash and not just one recipe, but two weeks full of them. I hope you will like them, well, if you like pumpkin, you will like these recipes, they are some of my favorite ones.
I don’t know about you, but I have a slight obsession with pumpkin/butternut squash. It is a relatively new discovery for me, the first time I bought and cooked butternut squash was only about 8 years ago while we were living in London. I bought it not knowing what to do with it, my only memory of ever eating pumpkin up until that time, were baked pumpkin wedges sprinkled with sugar (so dessert) that my great-grandmother made once while I was at her house. It was really a one-time experience (I’ve never even saw a pumpkin again in Romania after that one time), but obviously I liked it so much that the memory stayed with me for all those years, I must have been about 6 or 7 years old back then.
So I bought that butternut squash in London and the first thing I’ve ever cooked with it was a pumpkin risotto, following a recipe from Jamie Oliver, if I remember correctly. I liked it so much and repeated that so many times during dinner and the next couple of days, that I eventually managed to annoy my husband, who was afraid he might have to eat butternut squash an a weekly basis from that time on. You see, it is not that he hates pumpkin, but he’s definitely not so much into it, not the way I am anyway. But rest assured, he likes all the following recipes, they are all meals that even those who are generally not so fond of pumpkin will like. 🙂
This risotto is not Jamie Oliver’s risotto anymore, but I am sure it is at least just as delicious as Jamie’s. It is sooooo extremely creamy, the pumpkin pieces are not left whole but nicely pureed and that makes a wonderful golden sauce that surrounds every single rice corn. And then that amazing Gorgonzola… I cannot say I am a huge fan of eating Gorgonzola as it is, but I just love it when stirred into risottos or noodle dishes, it adds so much taste and creaminess, it is just amazing! I made this risotto with Hokkaido pumpkin which doesn’t have to be peeled, but if you use butternut squash you do have to peel it first.
- 1,2 liter/ 5 cups good quality vegetable broth
- 500 g/ 1 lbs Hokkaido pumpkin
- 1 teaspoon butter
- a pinch of mace
- 1 small onion
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 250 g/ 8.8 oz risotto rice (for instance Arborio)
- 150 ml/ ⅔ cups dry white wine
- 100 g/ 3.5 oz Gorgonzola
- salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper
- red radish sprouts to garnish, optional
- Heat the vegetable stock in a small pan and keep it on a very low heat the whole time while you prepare the risotto.
- Chop the Hokkaido pumpkin into approximately 2 cm/ 0.7 inches large cubes (you don't have to peel the Hokkaido). Heat the butter in a non-stick pan or a heavy bottomed one. Sprinkle the pumpkin with a pinch of mace and some salt, cover and braise lightly for about 20 minutes or until it is really soft. Stir often and give a little bit from the vegetable broth to it from time to time, to avoid it scorching. Puree the pumpkin with an immersion blender.
- In the meantime start with the risotto as well. Chop the onion very finely. Heat the olive oil in another deeper pan. Cook the onion until translucent. Add the risotto and stir well until coated with oil. Add the white wine, stir well and let it bubble away. Start adding the vegetable stock little by little, while stirring very often (I really don't have the patience to stir continuously, but I stay close and stir often). Only add the next ladle broth when the previous one is absorbed.
- Continue adding broth and stirring until the risotto is cooked to your liking, about 15-20 minutes or according to the packet's instructions. Add the pumpkin puree and stir well. Take off the heat.
- Cut the Gorgonzola into small pieces and stir them into the risotto until melted. Adjust the taste with salt and lots of freshly ground black pepper. I really liked this with lots of pepper (smoked black pepper), but add to your liking.
- Let stand for about 5 minutes, sprinkle with the red radish sprouts and serve immediately.
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