Note: Bocanova serves this risotto with sliced, roasted chestnuts and Cypress Grove goat cheese.
FRENCH RED PUMPKIN RISOTTO
1 French or Cinderella pumpkin
1 sprig fresh sage
Salt, white pepper
3 Brussels sprouts, leaves only
8 sage leaves
1/2 white onion, small dice
2 chile de arbol or bird's beak chiles (or 1/4 teaspoon cayenne)
3 tablespoons unsalted butter, divided
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups Carnaroli rice
1/4 cup white wine
6 cups chicken stock
1 sprig fresh sage
Midnight Moon goat cheese, to finish
Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pumpkin in quarters; remove seeds. Peel and cut one of the quarters in a fine dice. In a small skillet, melt 1 to 2 tablespoons butter; sweat 1 cup diced pumpkin with a sage sprig until the pumpkin is just soft, 4 to 5 minutes. Let cool.
Toss remaining pumpkin quarters with a little olive oil, salt and pepper. Place on a sheet pan, skin-side up, and roast until soft, about 45 minutes. Test by inserting a knife; it should enter and exit without sticking. Cool to room temperature.
Scrape pumpkin flesh from the skin. Add liquid from roasting pan; push mixture through a potato ricer. You should have 1 cup of puree.
Blanch the Brussels sprouts leaves in salted, boiling water for 15 seconds, then shock them in salted ice water. Let leaves dry. Melt more butter in a small saute pan; lightly brown the sage and Brussels sprouts leaves.
For the risotto: In a large pot, sweat the onion and chile de arbol in 1 tablespoon each butter and oil until soft. Add rice and stir to coat; let toast lightly. Season with salt and white pepper, then add wine and deglaze until dry. Add sage sprig and 2 cups stock; cook, stirring with a wooden spoon, until almost dry. Add pumpkin puree and just enough stock to cover the rice; cook, stirring constantly. Keep adding stock in small batches until rice is cooked and creamy. Remove from heat; fish out the sage sprig and chiles. Stir in 2 tablespoons unsalted butter. Taste and adjust for salt.
Gently fold the diced pumpkin into the risotto. With a Microplane, grate some cheese on top. Garnish with sauteed Brussels sprouts and sage leaves. Serve hot.
– John Jackson, executive chef, Bocanova