I love pumpkin and I use it for many dishes both savory and sweet.
The pumpkin goes very well with meat and fish but also with other vegetables (fennel and celeriac), with spices (turmeric, cumin, saffron, mustard seeds, cloves, cinnamon, ginger, mace and nutmeg, chili pepper) and with cheeses (parmesan, pecorino, ricotta, taleggio, provola, gorgonzola and yogurt).
In my business trips I found the pumpkin in Taraoudant, in Morocco, as a necessary ingredient for vegetarian couscous. In Mexico, I discovered that toasted, salted and ground calabaza seeds are a fundamental ingredient of Mexican cuisine. In Austria then, not only do you eat pumpkin seeds glazed with sugar but you use a lot of pumpkin seed oil (kürbis kernöl) to season especially potato salad.
Wandering on the internet you can find an infinite number of versions of pumpkin risotto. My recipe is a tribute to just the pumpkin and its derivatives!
There are many varieties of pumpkin. I prefer the Neapolitan pumpkin, with an elongated green-orange color outside and an intense orange inside. This pumpkin, compared to the round varieties, is less sweet, much more moist and has a less floury consistency.
It lends itself well to sauces and condiments but not as a filling for ravioli because it would tend to moisten the pasta too much.
For two people:
400gr of Neapolitan pumpkin to clean
2 cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
140gr superfino rice (roma – carnaroli)
25gr parmesan cheese
25g of pecorino romano
1 finger of dry white wine
0.5lt of vegetable broth
1 tablespoon of roasted and coarsely ground pumpkin seeds
2 teaspoons of pumpkin oil
Clean the pumpkin and cut it into pieces then let it stew in a pan, with a clove of garlic and 2 tablespoons of oil, over low heat and with the lid on until it is cooked.
In a risotto pot, brown for 30 minutes on a low flame, in 30g of butter, a mixture of onion and a small clove of garlic.
Add the rice and toast for 2-3 minutes on high heat trying not to burn anything 🙂 then fade with white wine and immediately add a ladle of broth and half of the pumpkin.
Continue cooking for about 15min adding the broth when necessary. When cooked, add the rest of the pumpkin and remove the pan from the heat.
Season with 20g of butter and the cheeses then cover and let stand for a couple of minutes.
Spend 3-4 minutes on the plate and sprinkle the pumpkin seeds on each plate, pour a teaspoon of pumpkin oil and … more cheese if you want! (better pecorino)