Hello dear Poggio Friends,
We hope you all are well and enjoying this leafy and colorful time of year, despite these challenging times. We are happy to be back with you for some tasteful (literally!) news to share. And what more comforting way to begin autumn than in the kitchen?
Poggio Pots and Pans is welcoming Fall with a recipe that celebrates one of the staple ingredients in Northern Italian cuisine in the autumn: the pumpkin! Our local acorn squashes are a bit different from the pumpkins enjoyed all over the world in celebration of Halloween, but their distinctive orange colour is the same and we believe you will agree that their rich flavour is delectable in this traditional Italian recipe with a twist:
Risotto alla Zucca – Pumpkin Saffron Risotto with Prosecco Parmigiano Sauce
(Pumpkin Saffron Risotto – Adapted from a recipe by Yolanda Garretti, copyright 2015 – Associazione Italian Friends of TCF)
INGREDIENTS FOR 4
For the sauce:
- 375 ml/1 ½ cup Prosecco or dry white wine
- 1 chopped shallot
- 50 g salted butter/ ½ stick
- 50 g/2 oz grated Parmesan cheese
- 300 g/10.5 oz. cream
- 6 envelopes (0,9 g) of powdered saffron
- salt and pepper to taste
For the risotto:
- 250 g/8.80 oz of Arborio or Carnaroli rice
- 1 medium acorn squash (1 to 2 lb; smaller is better)
- Several leaves of sage
- 1/2 onion, chopped
- 100 g salted butter/ 1 stick
- 250 ml/1 cup Prosecco or dry white wine
- 1,5 l/ 6.5 cups vegetable broth
- grated Parmesan cheese to taste
For the acorn squash pulp: Heat oven to 325° F. Cut the squash into quarters and remove seeds and strings. Dab with 1/2 stick butter and sprinkle with sea salt and sage. Bake for an hour and 30 minutes until soft and beginning to caramelize. After baking remove the sage, scoop out the pulp and blend into a puree with salt to taste.
For the Prosecco Parmigiano sauce: gently sauté the shallot in ½ stick butter for about 5 minutes. Add the Prosecco, bring to a boil and then simmer until the liquid is reduced by about half. Add the cream, Parmesan, salt and pepper. In the end, lower the heat and stir until the sauce thickens.
For the risotto: sauté the onion and butter in a casserole and in a separate pot, heat the broth. Add the rice to the butter mixture and let it toast for a few minutes while stirring. Then add the Prosecco and let it evaporate while stirring slowly. Proceed by adding a ladle of hot broth and let it simmer until it has been absorbed by the rice.
Repeat this process until the rice is cooked (about 25 minutes). When the risotto is cooked, add the squash puree, saffron and Parmesan cheese; stir until creamy, adding a dab of butter if necessary.
Lastly, serve on individual plates garnished with the hot Parmesan sauce. Enjoy your Pumpkin Risotto!