Pumpkin Risotto Recipe

Pumpkins first showed up on our shelves in Ireland at Halloween and aside from carving faces into them we didn’t know what to do with them. 
Since then no more than with the huge variety of heritage carrots, beets and tomatoes we can now find a huge variety of pumpkins and winter squashes on the shelves of your local supermarket each with their own distinct flavour. They add great texture and flavour from everything from soups, stews and curries. 

The following is one of my favourite risottos - Chef Ultan Cooke
You will need 
A sharp long knife 
A wooden spoon 
Sauté pan 
Heavy based pan. 
Soup ladle 
A stick blender

A large pumpkin or smaller pumpkins of your choice
1 liter veg stock 
400 g Risotto Rice 
500 g butter2 diced shallots (regular onion will do)100 g parmesan shavings
On a chopping board top and tail your pumpkin and cut into thick half inch slices. Scoop out the seeds, rinse under a tap and dry on a piece of kitchen paper. 

Dice your pumpkin and put to one side. Put the rough trim into a pot with half the butter and a small dash of water. Cover with a lid and cook on a low heat for around 30 mins it should all soften up and a quick buzz with you stick blender will make a nice smooth puree, taste and add salt to your preference. 

With your diced pumpkin fry them in a pan with a little butter and get a dark colour, depending on the pumpkin you use you may need to put in oven for a few minutes to bring it to the point where it is soft but still holds its shape.
On to the rice, melt the rest of you butter in a heavy based pan gently on a medium heat and add the shallots. 

At the same time bring your stock to the boil in a second pot beside this. Constantly stirring the shallots to prevent burning. As the butter melts add you rice and fold it over with your wooden spoon to fully coat and toast gently the rice. Start adding the hot stock a couple of ladles at a time always stirring as you go. This whole process will take 20 mins. At fifteen minutes add the rest of the stock and take off the heat and allow to sit. 

Lightly toast the dry seeds in a dry pan and put to one side. For the last 5 mins now fold in the puree and stir vigorously with your wooden spoon. At this point the starch is coming of the rice and mixing with the last of the stock and your puree making a great creamy texture. 

A good risotto should be loose and sit flat on a plate and not clump together if your risotto is two tight add a splash of water to loosen it out and stir well in. in a different risotto if you were not adding a puree you could add at this point another 100g parmesan. Spoon your finished risotto on to your serving plates and garnish with the diced pumpkin, toasted seeds and shaved parmesan.

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