The natural sweetness of red onion with a pinch of chili and the delicate and yet rich taste of pumpkins together with Iranian advieh and nutmeg makes this risotto so rich, and creamy with a hint of sweetness and spiciness and at the end the caramelized pumpkin on top makes it all come together. A heavenly risotto made for autumn. Remove butter and cheese and you have a perfect Vegan recipe.
Serves 4 People
- 1 liter broth (veg, chicken, fish, meat)
- 10 table spoon extra virgin olive oil
- a knob of butter
- 400 gram finely chopped red onion
- 2 stick celery
- 500 gram chopped pumpkin
- 400 g risotto rice
- 2 cup or glass of red wine
- 1/4 teaspoon chili powder
- 1/4 teaspoon Iranian advieh
- 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
- 100 g butter
- 150 g parmesan cheese
- seasoned goat cheese
- Prepare your broth in advance, I have the chicken broth recipe here if you need. Heat the broth and leave it on low heat.
- Put the pan or the pot on low-medium heat and prepare your “Soffritto” by adding the olive oil and the butter into the pan, when the oil is hot add the chopped onion and celery and cook them for 6-7 minutes. (or until soft and translucent). Add the rice to the soffritto and slightly fry the rice.
- As soon as you see the rice is quite translucent, add 1/3 of the pumpkins and the red wine and make the wine evaporate, then start adding the first cup of the broth and salt, gives it a good stir, then turn the heat down and let it cook for 2-3 minutes while stirring. This is when the inside of the rice should be cooked. If you suddenly bring it to boil you are going to end up with cooked rice in outside but not inside.
- Turn the heat up again and start to add the second cup of broth, continue stirring and add the broth when needed, this makes your risotto creamier and tastier. Adding the broth and stirring will take 12- 15 minutes, depends where you live, the oven you use and type of the rice. In this 12-15 minutes add the chili powder, advieh, nutmeg and another 1/3 of the pumpkins. Check if the rice is cook and if not continue to add the broth and stir. Adding the pumpkins slowly helps risotto to have a perfect color and I love to feel the pumpkins, instead to have a pumpkin puree risotto. The most important thing for making a perfect risotto is to bring it to the boiling point but do not let it boil (bubble). The broth should be slightly on top of the rice and veggies and rice should not be drowning into the broth or get dry.
- When the rice is cooked, add a good cup of broth and turn the heat off, add the butter, the parmesan cheese and a stick of thyme, give it a good stir, remove from the heat and cover for 5 minutes. Consider that when the risotto is hot it should be a little bit runny and loose 'cause as soon as it gets warm it gets thicker and you are going to have a perfect creamy risotto. Don’t be afraid to turn the heat off when your risotto is still a bit loose.
- Meanwhile add the last 1/3 pumpkin to a non-stick sauce pan on high heat, add 3 to 4 table spoons of powdered sugar, a pinch of chili powder and a pinch of salt and caramelize the pumpkins. Serve the risotto warm with caramelized pumpkin, seasoned goat cheese and fresh thyme on top. For serving, a perfect Italian risotto should be creamy, yet not runny, cooked “all’onda” this is what Italians call a perfect consistency of risotto which means “to be wavy”. Each individual grain of risotto should be slightly firm to the bite and also should be able to move in your plate or pan like a wave without using any spoon or fork.