And I especially never feel the urge to eat risotto. OK, maybe once, but I’m pretty sure I was under the influence of LSD or some other mind expanding/altering substance and I was actually under the impression that I was eating fried chicken, which I was really keen on the idea of. But alas, eye witness reports and CCTV footage would later confirm I was actually eating risotto… on the floor,,, wearing only a pink feather boa… in a KFC family restaurant (at least I had the place correct). Needless to say, I do not indulge in consumption of mind altering substances very much anymore.
“So why?” I hear you ask.
Half of me wants to say it’s none of your business, but the other half reminds me that this is indeed a public forum I have created and whether it be for my own personal gratification or not, the nature of such a beast is that people will indeed ask questions from time to time. As small as this chance may be, there is still a chance that the subscribers to these pages of the ramblings of a man trying to fumble his way around the kitchen and stumble through the English language like the drunken priest stumbling through the hallways on a late night rendezvous in the boys dormitory may wish to ask a question, and thus it is only fair that I should answer it.
I saw a picture of a pumpkin risotto on the social media of a celeb chef who I am inter-stalking, or maybe http://www.stalking, whose name fails me but the memory of his risotto lived on. It looked good… really good. So I decided then and there that I would make a pumpkin risotto.
PUMPKIN RISOTTO WITH PINE NUTS AND HERBS (serves 6)
½ large pumpkin, roasted whole for 2-3 hours at 180C, or until black on the outside and soft in the middle. This really does give it a nice sweet tasty pumpkin flavour. Chop the pumpkin and boil it if you are too slack and happy with second (or third or fourth) best
2.5 cups risotto rice (carnaroli, aborio etc. Probably not jasmine or basmati)
1 brown onion, diced
4 cloves garlic, diced
2lt stock, heated and ready to go
50g butter, chopped
1 cup grated pecorino or parmesan
½ cup toasted pine nuts
1 teaspoon dried chilli flakes
A few sprig of thyme, leaves picked
A handful of parsley, chopped
• While pumpkin is still hot, cut off the burnt skin, remove the seeds and chop the flesh roughly. Immediately douse it with a splash of olive oil and a good hit of salt and pepper. This will allow it to have a little roast pumpkin sexy time and come out with a warm, post coital glow
• Heat some oil in a large heavy based pan and sauté the onion and garlic over medium heat until soft and fragrant
• Add the rice and toss until grains are opaque – about a minute or so
• Start adding stock one cup at a time, stirring it in until almost all liquid is absorbed – this will happen quite quickly at first because the rice is hot and dry and hella thirsty
• Keep adding stock and stirring
• Once you are half way through your stock you can introduce the pumpkin to the party… stir it in there… oh how pretty that looks
• Keep going with the stock
• About 20 minutes in and you should be down to the last cup of stock and the rice should be damn near done. If not, you’re going to have to add a cup of water unless, of course, you were smart enough to heat an extra cup of stock
• Now add your butter and stir or shake (depending on what your school of thought on risotto is) to emulsify for kick-ass creaminess
• Stir through cheese
• Check seasoning and serve sprinkled with pine nuts, chilli flakes, herbs and a little extra olive oil
• Bam. Risotto like a baws