Risotto! How many times have we said “Mmmm” just thinking about it? And of course, it can be made vegan. Here is my favorite recipe for Italian-style pumpkin risotto with an Asiatic influence, which I recently made for my fellow interns. Wow, just writing this, I’m already hungry again.
Pumpkin ‘Oh, My God’ Risotto
1 liter water
1 large carrot, cut in half
1 stick celery, cut in half
1 large red onion, peeled
1 tbsp chopped fresh parsley, plus more for garnish (optional)
Pinch salt, plus more for seasoning
7 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil, plus more as needed
1–2 cloves garlic
1 medium brown onion, chopped into small pieces
1/2 medium-sized pumpkin, peeled and chopped into small squares
1 tbsp tamari sauce or soy sauce
2 cups uncooked rice (I prefer brown rice)
½ cup dry white wine
Pepper, to taste
Sesame seeds, for garnish (optional)
- In a large pot, bring the water to a boil and add the carrot, celery, red onion, parsley, and salt. Cook until the water develops color and taste, about 45 to 60 minutes.
- While the broth is cooking, heat 2 tbsp of extra-virgin olive oil in a frying pan on medium heat. Add the garlic and half the brown onion and cook until the onion starts to become translucent. Add the pumpkin and continue to cook over medium heat, stirring to prevent sticking (add water or broth if you need to), until the pumpkin becomes soft.
- Mash the pumpkin with a fork, then add the tamari sauce and cook for 3 to 4 more minutes. Remove from the heat and set aside. It should look something like this:
- Heat 5 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil in a big pot on a high heat. Add the remaining onion and fry until translucent. Add the rice and cook, stirring constantly for 1 to 2 minutes. Don’t let the rice stick to the bottom of the pan.
- Add the wine and cook, stirring constantly, for 2 to 3 more minutes. Add the boiling broth a few cups at a time until the desired consistency is reached (if you run out of broth, you can boil some water and add). Cover and let cook for the amount of time designated on the package of rice. Taste while cooking and add salt and pepper as needed.
- About 4 to 5 minutes before the rice is done, add the pumpkin and mix well. Taste again and add salt, pepper, or tamari sauce as desired.
- When finished, let set for 2 to 3 minutes before serving. Garnish with sesame seeds and parsley if desired.
Makes 4 servings
Pour yourself a glass of wine, sit down, and buon appetito!
Post written by intern Alessandro Giori