Pumpkin Risotto: Vegan and Gluten-free recipe

Love cooking and baking with pumpkin? 
I do although, I must admit, I don't do it as often as I'd like.
In all honesty, I don't cook much since I started writing novels and memoirs.
My mind is occupied with stories. I wish I could say that I am as slim as a model because of not cooking, but I am not 'cause I sit all day long eating cookies and drinking coffee.
If my mom would know this, she will freak out so badly!
I cook since I was 6, I own 6 recipes' blogs and wrote 15 recipes books, but I don't eat anymore.
I don't have time, that's the honest truth.
Please don't tell my mom. She's a sweet octogenarian that I love very much.

Pumpkin risotto vegan and gluten-free recipe by Cristina G.

The recipe I am presenting today, especially for vegans, vegetarians, gluten intolerants and rice lovers, is inspired by the famous Italian recipe: "risotto con zucca".

If I never told you, I lived in Italy for 10 years (wrote Ten Years in Italy, Three Weeks a Human: A Memoir), and used to work in restaurants learned from some of the best Italian chefs.
That's why today I am a proud risotto maker.
I mean, I make absolutely delicious risottos 'cause I am an expert.
Modesty... where are you?  

Please, forgive me for the bad, ugly pictures. They don't give this food justice.
They are old as the recipe was first published on http://reteteindraznete.blogspot.co.uk.

Practical advice

  • Please don't use Venere (black/wild) or integral risotto unless you really like these type of grains. If you do, keep in mind that black and integral risotto needs between 40-60 minutes to be ready. 

  • Don't use jasmine, Thai or basmati (long) rice. These types of grain are not good for risottos. The grain has to be fat (round) and thick. 

Degree of difficulty: low-medium (depending on your cooking skills)
Preparation time: 20-25 minutes. Do you like your rice to be al dente?
Servings: 2

  • 350 - 400 g of rice - arborio, roma (round and thick) 
  • 1 slice of cooking pumpkin @150 - 200 g 
  • 1 yellow onion or shallot 
  • 1 clove of garlic or 1/4 tsp of garlic powder 
  • 1/2 tsp of curry
  • 2 tbsps of olive oil - or the one you fancy
  • a pinch of salt
  • approx 300 ml of hot water or soup
  • If you want, add 20 ml of white or red wine - your choice. And it's not really a must. You can skip it. The taste would be just a tiny bit different. I promise you can survive without it.
If you're not vegan and eat cheese, prepare:
  • 2 tbsps of Grana Padano, Parmigiano Reggiano, grated cheddar, mozzarella or any cheese you fancy, plus 1 tbs of butter. 
I added none this time because mine it's a vegan variant.  
But I tried it before with cheese, and it's lush!  

Pumpkin risotto vegan and gluten-free recipe by Cristina G.

Method of Preparation
  • Peel the onion and the garlic. 
  • Crush the garlic, or chop it as finely as possible. 
  • Chop the onion as you like. 
  • Peel the pumpkin, cut it in small dices (@1 cm)
  • Put the oil in a pan - heat it - add the garlic and the onion, stir for a minute. If you add garlic powder, you will do so at the very end. It doesn't need to cook. 
Pumpkin risotto vegan and gluten-free recipe by Cristina G.
  • Add the pumpkin. Stir energetically. Give it 5 minutes to cook/fry. Don't burn it! 
Pumpkin risotto vegan and gluten-free recipe by Cristina G.
  • Add the rice, stir. 
  • If you add wine, now is the time. Pour it, stir until evaporates 
  • Add boiling water enough to cover the rice. 

Advice valid for any rice/risotto' recipe
Please don't add all the water at once. Especially if you are a beginner. There are many types of rice, I can't tell you with precision how much water is enough. Some suck (bloody vampires!) a lot of water, others not so much - jasmine, basmati, precooked rice for example. You will check the rice, then add another bit of water and so on until it's ready. It's just a matter of practice. If you pour too much water from the start, it becomes a soup. It's not a big deal. It's actually great. 

  • After adding water, cover the pan with a lid and fix the flame to minimum. Leave for 7 minutes then check and stir. 

Heads up! 
This is not something an Italian would do. 
However, this method (my method) saves you at least 5 minutes of cooking. Saving 5 minutes of cooking means saving gas, electricity and... time! 

  • After proximately 7 minutes of slow cooking, check and add more water if needed. 
How much is more? 
4 - 5 tbsp? 
Depends on how crunchy you want your rice to be. I like it "al dente". 

  • Cover again, leave for 5 minutes and check again until it's ready
  • Stop the fire and serve hot with grated cheese and butter or not. 
I promise it's a recipe to die for... as all my recipes. 
Yep. I am not fond of fake modesty. 

Just kidding. 
I sometimes make the most... bleah! recipes that not even starving dogs would eat. 
not this time though. This is a great recipe. 

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Ha, ha, ha. I am absolutely and utterly untalented. But I tried. 

Pumpkin risotto vegan and gluten-free recipe by Cristina G.

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