Pumpkin Risotto with Crispy Bacon

Credit: DG productions – Françoise Nicol

Instructions

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Step 1: Pumpkin

Preheat the oven to 170 °C and grease the baking sheet with oil.

Bring the broth to a boil.

Meanwhile, cut the butter into pieces. Grate the Parmesan. Peel the onion, and cut it lengthwise, without cutting into the root end, then three times widthwise. Mince it.

Peel the pumpkin with a chef’s knife, then cut it into slices. Cut each slice lengthwise, then cut into cubes. Set aside 50 grams for the garnish.

Step 2: Risotto

Melt a third of the butter and a tablespoon of the olive oil in a pan. Cook 1 minute over low heat. Add the onion, and sweat the onion for 1 minute, without browning it.

Add the diced pumpkin and brown 1 minute. Mix well to coat with fat.

Increase the heat to medium, add the rice, and season with salt.

Cook until the rice is pearly and coated in fat: it should be shiny and slightly translucent. Add the wine and cook until all of the liquid has evaporated.

Place the bacon slices on the baking sheet. Bake for 15 minutes.

Add hot broth to the rice just to cover: from here, the risotto will cook for 18 to 20 minutes. Continue adding broth to cover as soon as the previous addition is almost absorbed, and stir constantly. The rice should always be damp.

Test the rice by tasting a grain of rice or halving it – there should be a thin white thread through the middle.

Off the heat, vigorously incorporate the remaining butter. Add 5 tablespoons of olive oil. Add the Parmesan and mix well to combine. Season to taste.

Remove the bacon slices from the oven: they should be nice and crisp.

Place them on a sheet of paper towel. Sauté the remaining pumpkin cubes for 3 minutes in a tablespoon of olive with the thyme and the crushed, unpeeled garlic clove.

Serve the risotto on a plate, using a spoon. Sprinkle with the cubes of sauted pumpkin, and garnish with the bacon. Drizzle with a bit of beef jus or vinegar, and serve immediately.

Chef’s Tips

Change it Up

The bacon can be replaced with dried duck breast or cured ham. You could also replace the pumpkin with cubes of tomatoes mixed with tomato paste, with artichokes, or with button mushrooms.

Reducing

Reducing the wine allows you to remove its acidity while keeping its flavor. You could also swap the white wine out for red or even Champagne!

This recipe was originally published in "190 cours illustrés" (Alain Ducasse Edition).

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