So I promised you a very autumn-ish risotto, and here it is. Pumpkin and pancetta risotto, for a cold, gloomy autumn evening 😉
400g of pumpkin, peeled, diced finely (I used french pumpkin but you can use any pumpkin like acorn squash or butternut squash)
200g or risotto rice (arborio)
250 g of finely diced pancetta (or smoked bacon)
1 large onion
1 glass of white wine of your choice
salt, pepper to taste
about 800-900 ml of stock of your choice (I used chicken stock)
50-60 g of cold butter
handful of parmezan or pecorino cheese ( adjust the amount to taste)
1 big clove of garlic- minced
olive oil to fry on
prepare your ingredients first. Have everything diced and ready to go. Why? Because risotto waits for nobody, so we need everything ready as we go 😉
1) fry off the pumpkin on some olive oil, season with salt and pepper. The smaller you dice it, the faster it’ll cook, so it pays off to dice it rather fine. After 3-4 min it should be soft, move it to a bowl and allow to cool a bit.
2) Use the same oil that’s in the pan and fry your pancetta off. Make sure its golden and crispy. Add the minced garlic and finish it off with some pepper. Then move to a bowl and allow it to cool slightly.
3) Fry the onion on the bacony-garlicy oil, try to pick up all the carmelised bits from the pan. It’s where all the flavour is. Once the onion is carmelised and softened, deglaze your pan with white wine, picking up all the bits that are stuck to the pan.
4) Leave your onion in the pan and add the rice to it. Mix it in well so every grain is coated in this lovely mix of onion, bacon and garlic aroma. Toast the rice off for a minute or two, then add the first portion of stock.
5) Once the first portion of stock is being absorbed, stomp the pumpkin with a fork and pass it through a drum sieve, so you end up with a smooth purée. ( you’ll have about 4-5 heaping table spoons).
6) Keep adding more stock to your rice, while stirring it. When the rice is cooked al dente (after about 18 min, but check your box for the exact cooking time) add the pumpkin purée and stir through well. Then add the bacon in, leaving a few bits for decoration. Add the butter and cheese, stir through well so everything is combined. Serve immediately with some extra cheese on top.
It’s delicious and so season appropriate 😉 sweet pumpkin, carmelised onions, salty bacon.. it all goes together so well! I hope you try it. Here’s how it looked, enjoy 😉