Well peeling, seeding and dicing a pumpkin isn’t the easiest thing to do. In fact it’s a slippery, messy, time consuming process and frankly I don’t think I’ll ever do it again. There’s a bunch of recipes out there that call for peeled, seeded and cubed pumpkin or squash and now I understand why. A squash is a whole lot easier to handle than a gourd-like pumpkin. I’m not going to pretend, while this was delicious and (the texture of the pumpkin was firmer than a squash) next time I think I’ll stick with a butternut squash and leave the pumpkin for carving. Oh, and there’s absolutely no way I would puree a fresh pumpkin for pie or cheesecake. I’ll just open up a can and be done with it…thank you very much…and sorry to all the pumpkin purists out there!
Serves 2 as a main course, 4 as an appitizer
1 small “pie” pumpkin about 2 ½ lbs, peeled, seeded and cut into 1 inch cubes (or 1 2lb butternut squash – if you want to save yourself a bunch of hassle!)
Light brown sugar
1 large shallot, minced
1 cup Arborio rice
½ cup white wine
2-3 cups chicken stock
Preheat oven to 425°F.
Spread pumpkin cubes out on a large baking tray lined with parchment paper. Drizzle with olive oil, and then sprinkle with cumin and brown sugar. Roasted for 15 minutes, until tender. Set aside.
Sauté shallots in a large saucepan until softened over medium heat. Stir in rice and cook for a few minutes to “toast” the grains. Add wine and cook until reduced. Slowly add stock and stir until the rice absorbs the liquid. Add additional stock as needed until the rice grains are tender outside, and firm inside (al dente). Add pumpkin, and stir in Parmesan cheese. The risotto should be on the creamy side, not dry. This should all take about 15 minutes.