Fall Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Lattes. Pumpkin Cookies. Pumpkin Pie. Pumpkin everywhere this time of year! I must admit, I am not a fan of pumpkin lattes at all! Call me old fashioned, but I prefer coffee to taste of, well, coffee! I never understood the flavored coffee craze. It’s just not me and I find it all kind of gross, really! I only go for espresso, cappuccinos and good old American coffee.

But this time of year, I just on the pumpkin bandwagon along with everyone else. But I can only deal with it so much. I don’t like the pies but can tolerate the cookies. And risotto? Well, I’ve yet to meet a risotto I didn’t like! Last year, I started making it with pumpkin. I had a half can of pure pumpkin puree left over in the fridge from making cookies. Inevitably, it always ends up in the trash. Always! Good thing it’s only a few dollars, but still, I hate waste. So I took my usual risotto ritual and added some puree pumpkin pure to it. At first, I used far too much and it was far too sweet. After making it a few times, I got the proportions to the amount that I like. Play with the dosages below according to your liking. I find that with this, I use a bit more of the grated cheese than say my mushroom risotto. I think it cuts into the sweetness more. You can add some grated nutmeg, if you will, it will really add a nice fall flavor to it.

Enjoy some pumping risotto this fall, you will not regret it! 

Pumpkin Risotto
Approximately 5 – 6 cups of vegetable stock made from 1 large vegetarian bouillon cube
1 small  or ½ medium onion, finely chopped
3  tablespoons olive oil
1 ½  tablespoons butter
1 cup of Arborio rice
1 tablespoon parsley, chopped
½ cup of dry white wine (any white wine that is not sweet)
2/3 cup freshly grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese
½ cup pumpkin puree (add another ¼ cup if you desire a stronger pumpkin flavor)
Salt to taste

Directions:

  1. In a medium soup pan, bring about 6 cups of water to boil. Add one large vegetarian bouillon cube and allow to fully dissolve. Reduce heat to low and keep stock warm while preparing the risotto.
  2. In a large sauté pan, add the onion, butter and oil and simmer over medium heat for several minutes.
  3. After the onion has become translucent, add the rice and sauté for several minutes. Stir the rice to coat with the oil and butter mixture and so the rice just slightly toasts. Add the parsley.
  4. Add the wine to the rice and cook until the wine has dried up, this will take just about one minute. 
  5. When the wine has dried up, add one cup of stock to rice. Allow broth to cook in rice before adding the next cup of stock.
  6. Continue the process of adding one cup of stock at a time until the rice is almost, but not fully cooked. It should be tender but firm. Process will take about 18 – 20 minutes.
  7. Add the pumpkin puree to the rice and blend well so no white remains and the pumpkin is evenly distributed. Cook an additional 2  minutes, until the pumpkin is heated thoroughly and flavors have been well blended.
  8. Remove from heat and add the grated Parmigiano Reggiano cheese. The risotto is best served immediately.  

* Any risotto you make will be best served upon preparation. For maximum flavor, use just grated Parmigiano cheese. Using a micro planer to grate will give you a light and fluffy cheese that will melt almost immediately into the rice. 

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What to Pack for Italy

Cosa Mettere in Valigia per l'Italia

Everyone is always asking me what they should pack for Italy,
so I’ve created a quick reference guide that you can use for your next trip.

Hint: You don’t need nearly as much as you think you do!

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