There's a dieter in my house. After a month of living on a movie set (eating every day at an amazing seafood restaurant on the bay run by a man named Pasquale, who offered Ale whatever he wanted to eat in the hopes of getting his restaurant into a scene in the movie, a tactic which eventually worked), and then going on holiday for nearly 2 weeks, my other 1/2 came back feeling like my other 3/4. Just a few kilos to lose, but it's serious this time. My Wedding Channel planner anxiously announced at my last log in: 144 days to go!! That means, 144 days until permanent photos record our day for all of posterity. That's motivation enough for anyone.
So, Ale has decided to burn off those few extra kilos and he's the chef in our house, meaning I'm sort of on a diet too. Not that I mind. Because dieting Roman-style isn't so bad.
Like most Italians I know, Ale doesn't use recipes when he cooks, or measuring cups and spoons for that matter. He just eyeballs the ingredients, uses his creativity, and adds salt to taste.
Rome temperatures right now? Big-time BRRR. And everyone keeps posting pictures of pumpkins on their blogs. While I'm not as brave as Ms. Adventures in Italy, buying an entire monster squash to then craft it singlehandedly into culinary perfection, I do have a tactic. I buy things, stick them in the refrigerator, and wait for Ale to invent something wonderful. Which is why I bought the package of pre-cut pumpkin the other day and stuck it in the fridge, waiting patiently. Then, last night:
Pumpkin risotto! My pictures aren't stunning; I don't have a super camera like some of you fancy-shmancys out there (I'm not jealous, no...), but I did my best. I wish my blog had scratch and sniff because the aroma of this cooking is just heavenly.
Here's the finished product:
It was as delicious, as always. The only trade-off in having a chef in the house is this:
An artist can't be constrained by the limits of cleanliness. Therefore, on a regular basis I face the utter destruction of our tiny kitchen. Finny's hubby can vouch for this, as he has my role in their house being that she's the master chef (even though Bubba can cook up some mean BBQ), and after his cleaning debacle, I think that's the last time he's ever letting this Roman loose in his kitchen.
And of course, just to make sure we don't forget who's really in charge around here:
Now, I promise, this won't hurt a bit. Takes about 20 minutes and even I can make it, which is a guarantee of something easy yet delicious. Getting exact amounts for this was like pulling teeth...I kept getting, "No lo so, vado a occhio..." (I don't know, I just look at how much to put in...") So all the ingredient amounts are approximate; do as the Roman does and guesstimate. Happy dieting!
Makes 2 servings
200g or 1/2 lb. of pumpkin, cut into chunks
1/2 cup milk
1 tbs. onion, cut into small pieces
1-2 tbs. olive oil
1 cup carnaroli rice
1 cup white wine
Small saucepan of broth (about 3-4 cups?)
Blend the pumpkin and milk in a blender or food processor until creamy. Heat broth in a sauce pan. In a large pot, heat olive oil and add the onion, sautè briefly, then add the rice and stir for about 30 seconds. Add the white wine and continue to stir for about 1 minute or until the wine is absorbed.
Once wine is absorbed, add the pumpkin mixture and a ladle of broth. Stir continously, adding broth as it evaporates. Continue this for about 20 minutes or until rice is cooked "al dente" or firm to the bite. It's important to stir continously so the rice doesn't stick.
Serve immediately, adding grated parmesan and a bit of olive oil to each serving. Buon appetito!