1 sugar pumpkin (about 1 lb)
1 cup arborio rice (uncooked)
1/4 lb pancetta (in one piece)
1 small onion
splash of white wine
5 cups of vegetable or chicken stock
1/4 tsp allspice
1/4 cup parmesan
1 TB cold butter
1 tsp plus sea salt to taste
Preheat oven to 400 degrees F. Cut top off of sugar pumpkin and cut the pumpkin in half. Remove the seeds. Place on a sheet pan sprayed with cooking spray, cut side down. Roast until the skin becomes loose, but the pumpkin is not cooked through (about 20 minutes). Allow to cool.
In a medium saucepan heated to medium heat, dice and add the pancetta. Render it until crispy and then remove to a paper towel, leaving the fat in the pan.
Dice the onion in small dice and add to the pan. Dice the pumpkin the same way and add to the pan. Saute for a few minutes until the onion is translucent. Add the arborio rice. Saute for a minute or so. Add the wine. Stir. When the wine evaporates, begin adding stock, one ladle at a time, stirring until it is absorbed. Continue adding stock slowly and stirring for about 18 minutes, or until the risotto is al dente. Add salt to taste and allspice. Stir. Take off the heat. Add cheese and butter. Crumble pancetta over the top. Serve immediately.
Elizabeth Dougherty has been a food writer for over 10 years, attended culinary school and holds a Bachelor’s degree, Magna Cum Laude in Hospitality, Business and Labor Relations from NYIT. She has been a talk show host of nearly 150 episodes of Food Nation Radio which airs each Saturday afternoon at 4 on WWBA AM820 News and other stations. You can read her articles and hear previous shows on her podcast page on the Food Nation Radio Network website and on Facebook.