A classic autumn dish
Few dishes capture autumn better than zucca risotto. A transitionary treat, saluting summer, welcoming winter. This is a soothing dish. It brings smiles to faces. A natural anti-depressant.
It is a classic Italian dish. Which means there is room for personal interpretation. You may add, subtract and multiplay ingredients. Everything is allowed as long as pumpkin plays the leading roll. And the risotto rules are followed. All this makes it an exciting challenge, to prepare, to serve and to eat.
Sicilian touch to zucca risotto
Adding toasted bread crumb is how many Sicilian dishes distinguish themselves. This happens with pasta dishes as well as with fillings.
When added to pasta breadcrumb substitutes cheese. Not so when preparing risotto alla zucca. The use of pecorino cheese makes this risotto a tad sharper. And somehow elevates the pumpkin. An aspect that can be further developed by using grillo wine.
The crunchiness of the breadcrumb contrasts with the intrinsic creaminess.
For the rind there is no future but the compost heap. The seeds on the other hand are a true resource. Let them soak in water for an hour. The remaining will then come off easily. The seeds then dry on a kitchen towel. An important step because they’d boil instead of roast when they go in the oven.
Add the seeds to risotto di zucca at the end. They add an interesting crunch to the dish.
Instead of adding whole seeds, chop them up in a food processor. Make sure not to grind them though.
Contrasting zucca risotto
Risotto di zucca has a solid basis to build on. Orange is an easy color to complement. Consider it a canvas and let your artistic soul loose.
Taste-wise it is a sweet, pleasing dish. It contrasts wonderfully with spicy, sharp additions. Chili pepper or pickled fruit for example. And please consider balsamic vinegar.
We already mentioned the texture. Smooth as silk. Deeply in love with crunch. Crispy bacon, raw veggies or breadcrumb. They all contribute to a greater outcome.
Take it personal
The classic risotto alla zucca beseeches your creativity. Make it your own dish. Change the cheese. Try Brie, Stilton or Monterey Jack. Or any cheese you think can make a difference.
Instead of classic plating, one could serve it in sampling spoons. Or in a cup. Do take advantage of the versatile structure of the dish. It fits all forms.
Last there is the topping. Let that be your autograph.