Monday, September 29, 2008

Pumpkin and Apple Risotto

Pumpkin and other winter squash are very popular in Italy and appear in many classic Italian recipes. If pumpkins are out of season, use butternut or onion squash - the flavors will be slightly different, but they both work well. Recipe serves 3-4.


8 ounces (250 g) butternut squash or pumpkin flesh
1 cooking apple
1/2 cup water
1 ounce (30 g) butter
1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil
1 onion, finely chopped
1 garlic clove, crushed
1 1/2 cups risotto rice
3/4 cup fruity white wine
3 3/4-4 cups simmering vegetable stock
1 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Salt and freshly ground black pepper


1. Cut the squash into small pieces. Peel, core and roughly chop the apple. Place in a pan and pour in the water. Bring to the boil, then simmer for about 15-20 minutes until the squash is very tender. Drain, return the squash mixture to the pan and add half the butter. Mash the mixture roughly with a fork to break up any large pieces, but leave the mixture chunky.
2. Heat the oil and remaining butter in a pan and fry the onion and garlic until the onion is soft. Tip in the rice. Cook, stirring constantly, over a medium heat for 2 minutes until it is coated in oil and the grains are slightly translucent.
3. Add the wine and stir into the rice. When all the liquid has been absorbed, begin to add the stock a cupful at a time, making sure each addition has been absorbed before adding the next. This should take about 20 minutes.
4. When roughly two cupfuls of stock are left, add the squash and apple mixture together with another addition of stock. Continue to cook, stirring well and adding the rest of the stock, until the risotto is very creamy. Stir in the Parmesan cheese, adjust the seasoning and serve immediately.

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