Stuffed Monster Heads
Pumpkin and Prosciutto Risotto
While Americans tend to think of pumpkins as being useful only for sweet dishes like pumpkin pie, the Italians have long used the pumpkin for a wide variety of savory dishes, as you would any squash. This is perhaps one of the best recipes in that category that I have ever tried. It is a beautiful dish that is elegant and full of flavor and gorgeous color. If desired, you can use cooked ham instead of the Prosciutto. The Prosciutto can be omitted and a rich vegetable stock can be used for a marvelous vegetarian main dish.
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 tablespoon butter
2 large onions, chopped
2 cups chicken stock
2 minced garlic cloves
1 cup Arborio rice
1/4 cup dry white wine
2 cups cubed pumpkin, steamed or boiled until tender
2 ounces chopped Prosciutto
1/4 cup grated Parmesan Reggiano cheese
2 tablespoons minced fresh parsley
freshly ground white pepper
Melt the butter and olive oil together in a large heavy skillet over medium high heat. Add the onion and sauté until the onion is soft and translucent. While the onion is cooking, place the stock in a medium saucepan and heat over medium heat until simmering, but not boiling. Add the garlic to the onions and cook for two minutes. Add the rice and stir well to coat. Sauté for a minute, then add the wine. Cook the rice until all of the wine is absorbed, stirring constantly. Add a ladle of the warm stock, and stirring constantly, cook until all of the liquid is absorbed. Repeat until almost all of the liquid had been absorbed. Add the pumpkin and mix well. Continue to cook until the pumpkin is heated through, and all of the liquid is absorbed. Add the Prosciutto, Parmesan, parsley, salt, and pepper. Mix well and serve hot.
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