Croatian Pumpkin Risotto

Croatian Pumpkin Risotto
  • 2 medium onions, finely chopped (little square pieces)
  • 2 cloves of garlic, crushed and chopped
  • ½ cup arborio rice
  • 300 ml dry white wine
  • ½ a stock cube (or real stock if you have it)
  • ½ a small butternut squash or 1/3 of a big one
  • ½ cup freshly grated parmesan (not the dried stuff)
  • 4 tablespoons butter
  • Olive oil
  • Salt
  • Pepper

Peel the squash, clean out seeds and cut into squares. Be careful cutting the big bits as it is really hard – as much as possible try to get a flat bit onto the board when you are cutting.

The best pan is a large flattish one – but something with enough edge to hold the liquid. You can make it in a pan with tall sides but it still needs to have a wide base so that the rice can spread out and there is lots of room for evaporating bubbles.

Put olive oil and half of the butter in the pan and fry up the onion until it is transparent. Then add garlic and pumpkin and fry some more. Then add rice and fry more again then turn the heat down a bit.

Then you need to start adding water and the wine. I usually start with enough water to cover the rice. Put the stock cube in now and make sure it is broken up. Don’t use a lid on the pan – the idea is that the wine and water evaporate as the rice mixture cooks – that’s what makes it creamy.

When the top layer of rice starts looking a bit dry add half of the wine and give it a bit of a stir. Do that again with the rest of the wine, and then once more using water. It’s probably cooked by now, but you can add more water again if it needs it. The rice should still have a nutty bit in the middle if you try it – it’s not supposed to go mushy – and there should be a creamy mixture around the rice and pumpkin.

Remove from the heat and add the rest of the butter, the parmesan, some salt if it needs it (it will have some from the stock cube) and pepper.