Risotto, an Italian rice dish, usually made with Arborio or Carnaroli rice, is the perfect heart warming meal this time of year. The process of making a good risotto is relatively simple, but the key is timing. Adding warm broth to the rice in intervals, helps release the rice’s natural starches and creates a creamy texture. The end result is a warm bowl of al dente risotto with just the right amount of chew.
Risotto is so versatile because you can add almost any ingredient to the rice during cooking and create a dish with flavors you and your family will enjoy. In this recipe, I added leftover roasted pumpkin puree, halfway through cooking, to create a seasonal favorite. Then, I baked fresh prosciutto in the oven until crisp, to place on top of each bowl, for a light crunch. This recipe is easy to make any day of the week, but it is especially nice on those chilly nights when you just need a little something warm.
1 medium onion
1 garlic clove
1 cup Carnaroli or Arborio rice
3 cups chicken broth, heated
1 cup roasted pumpkin puree, homemade or canned
1 cup white wine
4 ounces prosciutto
2 ounces Parmesan cheese
sage leaves, optional
1. Roast and puree fresh pumpkin or use canned pumpkin. I had some leftover from the Pumpkin Pecan Salad Recipe in a previous blog. Dice the onion and mince the garlic finely. In a large Dutch oven over medium heat, add 2 tablespoons olive oil and the onion and garlic. Saute for 4 minutes until the onion is translucent.
2. Add the rice and continue to saute for 2 minutes. Ladle in 2 scoops of broth and continue to cook for about 4 minutes. When the rice begins to absorb most of the liquid, add another 2 ladles of broth. Continue this process until the broth is half empty.
3. Preheat the oven to 375 degrees. Lay the fresh prosciutto on a sheet pan and when the oven is hot, bake for 6-8 minutes or until dark and crispy. Remove from oven and let cool on a plate.
4. Add the pumpkin and white wine to the rice and stir to combine. Ladle in another 2 scoops of broth. Continue to cook until the rice is al dente and the broth is mostly absorbed, about 18-20 minutes in total. Taste the risotto along the way, to make sure you don’t over cook it.
5. Grate the Parmesan cheese and add it to the risotto and continue to stir. Turn off the heat.
6. Ladle the Pumpkin Risotto into bowls and top with Prosciutto and fresh sage. Enjoy!