A week's worth of pumpkin is nothing to fear.

A week's worth of pumpkin is nothing to fear.

Once a year, typically in autumn, I get knocked on my rear with upper respiratory crud that starts as a cold and then veers into the sinus infection/bronchitis/and-even-worse-than-that zone. That is where I am right now, teetering on the brink of a doctor’s visit on the eve of the most important athletic event this year.

What is it? L.S.U. versus Alabama.

The last time I was consumed with this crud during an Alabama game was two years ago when L.S.U. looked as if it really wanted to lose the matchup until the final minutes of the fourth quarter. As the Tigers racked up hundreds of yards of penalties, I coughed up everything imaginable. The situation continued to deteriorate until Chad Jones changed everything with one blitz up the middle.

Though tomorrow’s 3:30 p.m. EST kickoff can’t come quickly enough, I’d be lying if I said I was in fine, “damn strong football team”-watching form.  So in a week when I unleashed my inner obsessive compulsive on a pale blue pumpkin, I felt I’d close with a nice comforting dish to soothe my ick: Wolfgang Puck’s Pumpkin Risotto recipe.

Risotto of any stripe is really rich, creamy and full of flavor. But you don’t achieve that without the following ingredient: Patience. Good risotto requires time and lots and lots of stirring. So if repetitive behavior bores you to tears, give the pumpkin soup recipe a go instead. If you don’t find it boring, then let’s get started…

Ingredients:

1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 cup finely chopped onion

1 tablespoon chopped garlic

2 cups arborio rice

1 cup dry white wine

About 6 cups of hot chicken stock or vegetable stock

1 or so cups of pureed pumpkin (you can use diced pumpkin too for extra texture)

1/2 cup grated Parmesan

4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces

Directions:

  1. In a saucepan, heat olive oil over medium-high heat. Add onion and garlic and saute, stirring until just softened, about 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice and continue to stir with wooden spoon so that rice is coated with oil. stirinjuice
  2. Add white wine and continue cooking, stirring often, until it has been absorbed by the rice. Pour in enough chicken stock to cover the rice completely, about 3 cups, and continue to cook, stirring often, until liquid is absorbed. Stir, stir, stir!stirinstock
  3. Pour in 1 more cup of the remaining stock and stir until it has been absorbed. Repeat with 1 more cup. Add the remaining cup and cook, stirring, until the rice is al dente, tender but still very chewy, and most of the liquid has been absorbed.
  4. Stir in the pumpkin puree and the diced pumpkin and reduce the heat to very low so that the risotto doesn’t simmer. stirinpumpkinThen, stir in the Parmesan and butter to give the risotto a nice, creamy finish. stirincheeseSpoon it immediately into heated shallow serving bowls. pumpkinrisotto

More from this series…

Monday: Breaking down the pumpkin and roasting the flesh and seeds.

Tuesday: Pumpkin pie, sweet pie crust.

Wednesday: An out of this world (and easy) pumpkin soup.

Thursday: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies.

Today: Pumpkin Risotto.