Thursday, 18 October 2012

Really Nice Rice!

Risotto alla Zucca, con Radicchio e Ricotta Salata
Pumpkin & Radicchio Risotto with Salted Ricotta Cheese

So, I finally got down to the last chunk of Hokkaido pumpkin tonight- amazing that I managed to get 4 meals out of that little thing- it was just the size of a grapefruit after all! With pumpkin, it all depends on how you cut or slice it... or grate it for that matter! Which is what I did- and it makes a little pumpkin go a long, long way!

To make this single serving of risotto, I needed just 1 handful of coarsely-grated pumpkin. It gave loads of flavor, balanced the mild bitterness of the radicchio nicely and gave the dish a lovely golden color- all good stuff I'd say! Great Fall food, easy, inexpensive, comforting and delicious... so what are you waiting for? Let's get cooking!

I started off my risotto by preparing a light vegetable broth. To do this, I sautéed a fine dice of onion, celery and carrot, with clove of crushed garlic, about 1" worth of grated ginger and a bay leaf, in a little olive oil. As soon as the onion turned translucent, I deglazed the saucepan with a splash of white wine, put on the lid and let it cook for 2-3 minutes, until the liquid was evaporated. I then added 3 cups of boiling water, reduced the heat to a simmer and let it continue cooking for the rest of the cooking time.

In the meantime, I finely chopped and onion and sautéed it in a little olive oil until it began to turn translucent, then added the rice. Once the rice was coated, I began to add the broth  1 ladle at a time, stirring it in and being careful to not let the rice stick to the bottom of the pan! I kept adding the broth, stirring it in, adding some more, for 10 minutes or so and then added the grated pumpkin. I stirred it in, seasoned with salt, pepper, nutmeg and a little orange juice and kept on stirring steadily away!

10 minutes later, the broth was all used up and the rice was becoming nice and creamy. I added a little milk- no need for cream if you ask me, and stirred this in well. A little more nutmeg at this point, as well as a handful of finely grated Grana Padano, a last drizzle of oil, a last good stir and then the radicchio- which really does not take that long at all! In fact, it will become discolored and dark if you let it cook for too long.

The finishing touch was a sprinkle of finely chopped parsley for a little freshness and color and a touch of salted ricotta cheese... perfect! Quick, light and delicious as always- at least that was my intention! Hope you find it to your taste if you give it a go!


  1. It does look really nice, thanks for sharing the recipe :)

  2. My pleasure Food Lover! It makes it nicer still when other people like it! :-) Best wishes from Francesco