We are back from Salone del Gusto, with some bag full of delicacies and a way lighter wallet as a counterpart: among our groceries, Alnif cumin having soaked shirts, jackets and socks forever, a 2012 Utopia rhododendron honey ale made in Troll/made in Bi-Du , Acquerello carnaroli rice, wild honey from the forests of Jamaica – it’s not everything we got, but with these ingredients we developed a celebrative concoction, together global and regional, seasonal and warm, tropical – but with an Autumn feel. This we provide: it’s Pumpkin Days…
INGREDIENTS (randomly listed) – 2 persons:
Seasonal, ripe, sweet pumpkin: 600gr.
A potato, A carrot, A celery stalk, A red onion for the stock
Riso Carnaroli Acquerello aged 7 years: 250gr.
“Utopia” Bidu/Troll, rhododendron frontier ale, to deglaze rice: a dash; to drink while cooking: all that’s left.
Alnif cumin, that is Scent of Paradise in the way Moroccans imagine it: make it rain.
Wild jamaican honey, from ackee and avocado trees, a tropical explosion: one teaspoon
Half of a red onion.
One garlic clove.
Grated Parmigiano Reggiano: 40gr.
Few salted Pantelleria capers, to top up the dish
Goat Ricotta: 160gr.
A pinch of salt.
PROCEDURE (scrupulously listed):
Wash and rinse under running water Pantelleria capers. Dissolve in a glass a spoonful of Jamaican honey in very little lukewarm water, add the washed and rinsed capers, leave them to soak sweetness in that Caribbean jungle explosion.
Thoroughly peel pumpkin, cut two-thirds in cubes, leave the remaining whole.
Fill up a rather big pot with cold water, add potato, onion, carrot; bring to boil on a lively heat. Then stir in the whole piece of pumpkin and a celery stalk, add salt, leave uncovered on a low flame until all the vegetables are cooked.
Melt inside a wide pan 30gr. of butter, leave the unpeeled garlic clove to brown, add a rosemary branch. When garlic starts to turn golden, add pumpkin cubes, sauté on high heat until brown; add half a cup of warm stock, cover, leave to cook on a low heat. When pumpkin turns soft adjust salt and pepper, add Alnif cumin in the quantity you prefer. We opted to bathe in it. Take out the garlic and rosemary, leave to cool, pass to a blender: the cream you want to obtain ought to be velvety, runny yet compact (as it will complete the smothering); should it turn out too dense dilute it with half a coffee cup of stock.
Thinly (very thinly) slice the half onion, melt in a high-walled casserole 20gr. of butter, brown the onion on a low flame: as it turns lightly golden add rice, turn the heat up, let the grains toast well – deglaze with a dash of Utopia (sounds good, innit?), having avoided to drink it all as you wait. Start working the risotto on a moderate heat; adding ladle by ladle the vegetable stock and letting the rice absorb it; stir slowly and steadily, clockwise.
When the Carnaroli grain will be al dente (resistant to the bite, nor sticky, nor crunchy) your Risotto will be ready: remove from heat and add the last piece of butter – the last, I swear- and Parmesan. Stir vigorously and let the magic of smothering happen… When dairy will have embraced the starch in rice gifting to the dish that unique velvety feel (and I get emotional to this point), add the pumpkin velouté, stir in.
Serve by adding goat ricotta right on top of the risotto: its snow-white acidity is born to tickle, kindle the peaceful comfort of pumpkin. Complete this sensory world tour with a hint of sapidity by placing how you best like them the capers, drained from the honey brine, and generously mill some black pepper on top.