Pumpkin Risotto with Gorgonzola and Prosciutto

Those of you who have been reading a while know of my affinity for risotto.  I just love it.  It’s hearty, but elegant and oh so versatile.  It’s terrific as a one pot meal and just as good as a side dish.  It makes great leftovers too.  Not many foods can claim all that.  And this one can add super yummy to its list of attributes.

About a month ago I bought a pie pumpkin at the farmers’ market.  It’s been sitting on my counter since then.  Given that I finished the Christmas decorating today it seemed out of place.  I decided that it needed to feature in dinner tonight.  I cut it in half and cleaned it out.  Half went in the oven to roast and half went in a dish with a little water into the microwave for steaming.  The roasted half will become puree for pies and pumpkin bread.  The steamed part was mashed and features in my risotto.  Honestly this pumpkin was a little old so it was a little stringy.  I ended up tossing a lot of it, but there was plenty left.

The idea for this actually came from a recipe for pumpkin ravioli that I’ve been wanting to try.  I wasn’t up for making ravioli tonight.  (With any luck Santa will be bringing the pasta attachments for my KitchenAid so I can make ravioli a little more easily).  The ravioli is served with a gorgonzola sauce.  Eureka!  The sweet pumpkin with the tangy, slightly bitter gorgonzola, yum – throw in the salty prosciutto and you have a beautiful dish.  This is one of my best risottos.

A few helpful hints.  Use a good quality chicken stock.  You know I think homemade is best, but if you don’t have any around just be sure you’re using the best canned variety available.  You’ll taste it in this.  Make sure the oil is hot when you add the onions.  It helps them maintain a little texture.  Pumpkins have a pretty short season so unless you bought one in the Fall and froze the pulp you’ll need to use canned.  I think canned pumpkin would be fine in this since you’re stirring it in.  Just be sure it’s plain pumpkin and not pumpkin pie filling!  Normally I’d say be as heavy handed as you like on the cheese, but gorgonzola is such a strong flavor that you need to be careful here.  Add a little.  Stir it in.  Taste.  If you add too much you won’t be able to taste anything else and you’ll really miss out.

I’m already looking forward to leftovers!

Good? Super yummy.
Easy? Let’s call it intermediate.
Good for company? Definitely.
Special shopping? You likely won’t have prosciutto in the house, but it’s available in every grocery.

Pumpkin Risotto with Gorgonzola and Prosciutto

Ingredients

2 1/2 C chicken stock
2 T olive oil
2 C onion, diced
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 C arborio rice
1/2 C white wine
1 C pumpkin, mashed or pureed
2 T gorgonzola, crumbled, plus more to taste
1 oz prosciutto, chopped
salt and pepper

Directions

Heat the chicken stock in a pot and keep it warm.
Heat the oil in a chef’s pan or medium pot. When it begins to shimmer add the garlic and onions.
Saute garlic and onions 3-5 minutes.
Add the rice and stir to coat.
Add the wine and stir until the liquid is nearly absorbed.
Add the warm stock to the rice 1/2 C at a time. Stir until the liquid is nearly absorbed after each addition.
When the rice is al dente and there is still some liquid in the pan stir in the pumpkin.
Add the prosciutto.
Stir in 1/2 the gorgonzola. Taste. Add more as needed to taste.
Finish with freshly ground pepper and kosher salt.

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