Milanese-Style Risotto with Pumpkin

Aired February 8, 2011

Serves Serves 4
1 small cooking pumpkin or 1 medium-large butternut squash
EVOO Extra Virgin Olive Oil, for drizzling plus 2 tablespoons
Salt and pepper
Freshly grated nutmeg
A generous handful pumpkin seeds, about 1/3 cup
3 tablespoons pine nuts or shelled, chopped pistachio nuts
1 quart chicken stock
1 generous pinch saffron threads
2 cups water
2 to 3 large cloves garlic, very finely chopped
1 small yellow onion, very finely chopped
1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
2 tablespoons butter, cut into small pieces
1/2 cup grated Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese, a couple of handfuls, plus some to pass at table
Finely chopped flat-leaf parsley

Preheat oven to 375F.

To peel pumpkin, cut in half then scoop out seeds. Cut into wedges and carve flesh away from skin and chop into small bite-sized pieces.

For butternut squash, cut in half across, separating the upper half from bulbous bottom. Use a sharp vegetable peeler or pairing knife to trim away skin. Cut off top stem and chop into bite-sized pieces. Halve bulbous end, seed and chop.

Lightly dress pumpkin or squash in EVOO, salt, pepper and nutmeg.

Arrange pieces on a baking sheet or cooling rack set over baking sheet. Roast 35-40 minutes, until very tender. Toast the pumpkin seeds and nuts in oven the last few minutes of roasting time.

Pure half the squash or pumpkin in a food processor until smooth; reserve the remainder in dish.

Meanwhile, combine stock and water and saffron threads in a saucepot. Bring to boil then reduce heat to low and keep liquids warm.

In a round-bottomed pan or skillet heat EVOO, 2 turns of the pan over medium-high heat. Add garlic and onions and soften a few minutes. Stir in Arborio and toast a minute or two, add wine and let it absorb completely. Add saffron stock in small batches of a few ladles at a time, stirring a minute or 2 for each addition of stock. Cook the liquids out and continue to add more a ladle or two at a time for 18 minutes. Stir in butter, cheese and pure of squash or pumpkin. Serve in shallow bowls topped with pieces of roasted squash, seeds, nuts and herbs.