Have you noticed a trend here? I love squash and pumpkin. This risotto is something I normally make during my Autumn supper clubs. Our friends just love the flavour combination of the saffron, pumpkin and Taleggio cheese. Taleggio cheese is an Italian, semisoft, washed-rind, smear-ripened Italian cheese that is named after Val Taleggio. The cheese has a thin crust and a strong aroma, but its flavour is comparatively mild with an unusual fruity tang. I just love it! Here I quickly pan seared some large scallops, but the risotto is just divine on it's own.
Pumpkin Saffron Risotto with Red Wine and Taleggio Cheese
250 g. Carnaroli rice, the only Italian rice variety I use
150 g. Taleggio cheese, rind removed and cut into small cubes
125 ml. Dry red wine
400 g. Pumpkin cut into cubes, after peeling and seeding
1 L. Chicken or vegetable stock, or water plus more if needed
60 ml. Extra virgin olive oil
1 tsp. Saffron threads
1/2 tsp. Ground ginger
6 tbsp. Unsalted Butter, divided
125 g. Onion, very finely chopped
3 Cloves of garlic, minced
Salt and Pepper to taste, I used white pepper
Parmigiano Reggiano cheese grated to taste, plus more to serve
1. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add 1 tbsp. butter and pumpkin cubes. Sprinkle with a little salt and pepper to taste. Saute briefly then cover with water by 1 inch. Lower heat and simmer gently for 15-20 minutes. Remove from heat, drain and reserve half the pumpkin cubes and puree the remaining pumpkin, adding a bit of olive oil ( 1 tbsp.) and 1 tbsp. water to blender. Reserve.
2. In a small saucepan over medium heat, add chicken stock and saffron and heat through. Lower heat and keep warm.
3. In a large, high sided frying pan, on low to medium heat, add 1 tbsp. butter, garlic and onions, cook and stir often with a wooden spoon until onions are softened, but not browned.
4. Add rice and stir with wooden spoon, continuously, to toast and coat with onion mixture. About 1-1 1/2 minutes. Add red wine. Mixture will sizzle furiously. Stir with wooden spoon continuously, until all the wine is evaporated.
5. Add hot, saffron infused chicken stock by the ladleful, until rice is just covered. Stir continuously until each ladle of stock is absorbed. Total time should be between 15-18 minutes. Rice is done when it is soft, but with a pleasant bite to it. Creamy, but not too wet. If it is underdone, just add a bit more hot stock or water. Taste and adjust seasonings.keeping in mind the cheese are salty.
Stir in remaining 4 tbsps. of butter, reserved pumpkin puree, Taleggio, and Parmesan cheeses. Stir to incorporate on a very low heat. keeping in mind cheese is salty. Add reserved pumpkin cubes and