2 cups fresh pumpkin peeled and chopped in cubes
2 cups risotto rice (Carnaroli and Vialone Nano are best otherwise use Arborio
1 red onion diced
2 garlic cloves minced (optional)
thinly sliced pancetta or guanciale – about 4oz are whatever fits in pan
3 tbsp Pumpkin Seeds lightly toasted 3 minutes in dry pan
3/4 cup freshly grated parmesan or pecorino cheese – I like half & half
1 quart or so of broth – vegetable or chicken
extra virgin olive oil EVOO about 3 to 4 tbsp
1/2 cup good white wine
fresh parsley for sprinkling
fresh cracked pepper
Fry the pancetta in a heavy bottom pan until crispy. Remove pancetta from pan but don’t remove the fat. Saute the pumpkin in the pancetta fat until fork tender. Set aside with the pancetta and keep warm in the oven.
heat the broth on the side and keep it simmering
In a separate heavy bottom wide pan heat a drizzle of evvo over medium heat (enough to just cover the surface of pan)
add the rice tossing around quickly to toast for 2 minutes
deglaze with the wine until it evaporates
add the onion and garlic stirring it into the rice until soft – 2 min
start adding the hot broth as soon as the pan becomes dry stirring in a ladle at a time. Keep adding broth as rice absorbs until rice is cooked through – about 20 – 30 minutes If you run out of broth before it’s finished you can add hot water.
As soon as it’s cooked remove from heat and stir in most of the cheese saving some for sprinkling. Add fresh cracked pepper and salt to taste.
Serve the risotto spooning the pumpkin pancetta on top with a sprinkling of toasted pumpkin seeds, grated cheese and fresh parsley.
Dig in and enjoy with a glass of your favorite white wine!