Originally aired February 8, 2011
- 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.