Grandma Pastorino's Pumpkin Risotto
My childhood was spent hanging out at the family farm with my grandparents in Half Moon Bay. One of my most vivid memories is Nona Lorraine rustling up an Italian classic in the kitchen to feed us after a hard days work farming the land.
Pumpkin season was always a busy and bustling time of year, so busy in fact that we barely had time to enjoy the fruits of our labor and eat a pumpkin ourselves!
But when we did... this recipe was always a winner and was a firm family favorite. When we eat it today, on a crisp fall evening, it feels like a big warm hug from Nona Pastorino in a bowl!
2 pounds (1kg) pumpkin, peeled, trimmed, diced to 3/4 inch cubes
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 tablespoons (50g) butter, divided
1 medium shallot, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, crushed
2 cups (400g) Arborio rice
1/2 cup (120ml) dry white wine
4 cups (1L) chicken stock
2 sprigs fresh sage
15-ounce (150g) package fresh goat cheese
1/2 cup (50g) finely grated pecorino cheese1
Fresh sage leaves for garnish
Salt and pepper to taste
Preheat oven to 200°C.
Toss the pumpkin and olive oil together and season with salt and pepper. Arrange on a baking tray lined with baking paper, add the sprigs of fresh sage and roast for 15 to 20 minutes. Remove and keep warm.
Warm chicken stock in a saucepan and keep simmering on a low heat.
Heat a separate large saucepan over a medium heat. Add the butter and shallot and cook until soft, 3 to 5 minutes.
Add garlic and rice to butter/shallot mixture and stir for one minute ensuring all rice is coated.
Add dry white wine to the rice mixture, stirring constantly until almost all the liquid is absorbed.
Add a ladle of warm chicken stock to the rice, stir in and allowing to absorb.
Repeat last step until all the chicken stock liquid has been added to the rice.
Continue to cook until rice is tender , 20 to 25 minutes.
Stir through half the roasted pumpkin and crumbled goat cheese.
Divide the risotto between 4 to 6 shallow bowls.
Top with remaining roast pumpkin, fresh sage leaves and grated pecorino cheese.
Serve and enjoy!
~ Adam, Grandson of Grandma Lorraine Pastorino
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