Back to pumpkin, though. Here's a recipe to make risotto with pumpkin and smoked pancetta which is very, very good. And I'm not just saying so because I invented it. It was truly amazing, perfect for any fall dinner party you might be hosting. Or even for a family dinner, really.
PUMPKIN AND PANCETTA RISOTTO
1/2 cup EVOO
2 cups finely chopped onion
1 cup chopped pancetta
2 cups arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
About 6 cups of hot vegetable stock
1 pumpkin, one half baked in the oven and then pureed; the other half, peeled, cut into small dice, and sauteed in a little oil and butter until tender
1 cup grated Parmesan
4 tablespoons butter
In a medium-size heavy dutch over, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat and a tablespoon of butter. Add the onion and pancetta and saute, stirring continuously, just until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the rice and continue to stir, using a wooden spoon, to coat the rice with the oil.Add the white wine and continue cooking, stirring often, until it has been absorbed by the rice. Pour two ladles of broth to cover the rice and continue to cook, stirring often, until all the liquid is absorbed.
Pour in 1 cup more of the remaining stock and stir and cook until it has been absorbed. Repeat with 1 more cup. Add the remaining cup and cook, stirring, until the rice is al dente, tender but still very chewy, and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
Stir in the pumpkin and reduce the heat to very low so that the risotto doesn't simmer anymore. Stir in the cheese and butter to give the risotto a nice, creamy finish. Spoon it immediately into heated shallow serving bowls.