Pumpkin and Gorgonzola risotto

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PRESENTATION

The orangey sweetness of pumpkin is one of the most hotly anticipated pleasures of fall. This versatile ingredient, featured in a whole host of sweet and savory recipes, keeps us company through the cold winter months, bringing a touch of color to our dishes and warming our hearts at the same time. While pumpkin risotto may be one of the best-loved classics of Italian cuisine, this pumpkin and Gorgonzola risotto is every bit as worthy of a place in the Italian culinary tradition. The rich, creamy, melting flavor of Gorgonzola, a soft blue cheese typical of northern Italy, envelopes the pumpkin in an irresistible embrace, leaving the rice, artfully toasted, softened, and creamed as the risotto tradition dictates, to do the rest. The result? A creamy, tasty first course that’s great for family dinners and special occasions alike and is sure to win everyone over at the first bite, delighting the palate with a whole host of flavors that really showcase the true magic of fall... and of good food!

INGREDIENTS

Carnaroli rice 1 ¾ cup (320 g)
Delica pumpkin 1.3 lbs (600 g)
Gorgonzola cheese 1 ¼ cup (170 g)
Yellow onions 2 cups (100 g)
Butter 2 tbsp (30 g)
White wine 3 tbsp (50 g)
Extra virgin olive oil 1 ½ tbsp (20 g)
Rosemary 1 sprig
Fine salt to taste
Black pepper to taste
For about 2 liters of vegetable stock
Water 10 ½ cups (2.5 l)
Celery 4 ½ oz (130 g)
Yellow onions 2 ½ cups (130 g)
Carrots 3 ½ oz (100 g)
Parsley 1 (20 g)
Fine salt to taste
Preparation

How to prepare Pumpkin and Gorgonzola risotto

To cook the pumpkin and Gorgonzola risotto, start by preparing the vegetable broth for cooking the rice, and wash, peel, and cut the vegetables into chunks. Place them in a pot, along with the water, parsley, and salt 1. Cover with a lid, bring to a boil, and cook for around 1 hour. When the broth is ready, strain it through a sieve  2 and keep it warm 3.

Next, turn your attention to the pumpkin, removing the skin, seeds, and pulp inside, cutting it into thin slices 4, and then dicing it 5. Finely chop the onion 6.

Heat the oil in a large saucepan, add the onion 7, and brown on very low heat for around 10 minutes, stirring occasionally 8. Once the onion is soft and transparent, add the diced pumpkin 9.

Stir well and simmer with the hot broth 10. Cook the pumpkin, stirring frequently and adding more broth as needed. This will take around 20 minutes 11. In the meantime, toast the rice separately (the moisture created by the pumpkin in the pan would prevent the grains from sealing properly): heat a large frying pan on high heat and pour in the unwashed rice 12.

Toast the rice for a few minutes, stirring frequently so that it doesn't burn, then simmer with the white wine 13 and stir immediately so that it doesn't stick. Next, transfer it to the pan containing the pumpkin 14 and cook for a couple of minutes, stirring continuously 15.

Start adding the broth, a ladle at a time 16, adding the next only once the previous one has been absorbed. Continue doing this, stirring frequently, until the rice is cooked according to the time stated on the packaging. When the rice is nearly cooked, season with salt and pepper to taste 17. Turn off the heat and cream the risotto with the butter 18.

Add the Gorgonzola 19 and mix thoroughly 20 (you can add a little more broth at this stage if youwant to achieve a creamier risotto, known as "all’onda"). You can also put the lid back on the pan for a few moments to help the cheese to melt. Plate up, and garnish with a few pieces of fresh rosemary 21. Your pumpkin and Gorgonzola risotto is ready to be served!

Storage

This pumpkin and Gorgonzola risotto should be eaten fresh, as it will lose most of its goodness if reheated later on. You can, however, use any leftovers to make polpette rice balls, an original rice al salto (sautéed rice), or tasty arancini balls!

Tips

Try adding a good sprinkling of crushed red pepper to bring out the spice in your Gorgonzola. If you’re a big fan of strong flavors, try replacing the Gorgonzola with Roquefort – one for the real foodies!

For a more flavorful broth, after halving the onion, toast it for a few minutes in the bottom of the broth pot, without water. Then add the water and the remaining vegetables. This will bring out the burnished notes in both the color and the flavor of the dish.

Simmering the rice in wine helps give the recipe just the right amount of acidity, but it can be omitted if you are using cheeses that already have a slight acidity to them, such as goat's cheese.