December 31, 2006

Market to Table- Certaldo Francesca's Pumpkin Risotto

At Saturday's market in Certaldo, the local farmer Francesca is a wealth of knowledge and gave me a recipe for Pumpkin Leek Risotto.

She only sells what she grows, and I trust a woman with a smile!

Risotto di Zucca Gialla

2 young leeks
extra virgin olive oil
chili pepper flakes
1 lb pumpkin
1 c Risotto rice,arborio, canaroli or vialone nano
( I use Pila Vecia from Gabriele Ferron in Isola della Scala)

1 cup water
1/4 cup grated parmesan cheese.

Clean the leeks and finely slice.
Place in pot with extra virgin olive oil, enough to cover the bottom of the pot.

Cut the pumpkin into small cubes and let cook with the leek.
Salt to taste and sprinkle with chili flakes.

When the leeks are carmelized and the pumpkin tender, about 10 minutes, add the rice.
Stir to mix well and "toast" the rice.
It should be covered in oil and hot.( Each grain shiny, not swimmin in oil)

Add 2 cups boiling water. Salt to taste. ( I use water instead of boulloin cubes or making broth and let the flavors of the risotto speak! There is enough flavor with veggies, great olive oil and wonderful sea salt)

Cover and let cook for 14 minutes.
Uncover and stir.

The rice should be cooked and the liquid absorbed.

Now add 1 cup of additional boiling water and the grated parmesan cheese.
Stir until the liquid is absorbed and the risotto is "all'onda", wave-like.

This will create the perfect creaminess, without adding cream.
Stirring releases the starch in the rice and binds with the liquid and cheese to create the PERFECT NON-STIR RISOTTO!


  1. Are young leeks smaller or do they just have less dark green to them?

    Can you use the whole leek or do you still have to discard the dark green parts?

  2. Judy, I heard you talk about non stir risotto and this sounds delicious, I will definately try this.
    Have a Happy New Year 2007and hope to see you in Kansas City in April!!!!!

  3. I only use the white part of the leeks, if the leeks are older and there is a hard center, discard that too!

    Spring onions would work too.

  4. I love anything with pumpkin - will definitely try this!