This is simple and gratifying. Peas and pumpkin have a special affinity. You can use chicken stock, and I do quite often; however, it is easier to boil the pumpkin in water and keep that to cook the risotto in. As with nearly all risottos the last lot of ingredients are added already cooked, and are simply reheated. Don’t worry about using fresh peas. If they are not young and fresh, frozen peas are a good substitute, as I have said before. Conventional wisdom says to use a high-sided saucepan when making risotto. However, I like to use a frying pan to cook out the rice. Armando Percuoco from Buon Ricordo restaurant first showed me this method and, from that time onwards, I have always used it. I think it is because the rice is less likely to sink to the bottom and stick, while the top goes dry. Anyway it works for me, so try it, if you don’t like it, simple, go back to the old way and follow the rest of the recipe.
Cook the peas in plenty of boiling salted water. If using fresh peas, cook for about 3 minutes; if using frozen, remove as soon as they rise to the surface. Refresh the peas in iced water and set aside.
Put the pumpkin or chicken stock in a saucepan on the back of the stove and keep warm. Heat the extra virgin olive oil in a large heavy-based frying pan. Add the onion, garlic and
Remove the lid, stir in the parsley and check the seasoning. Spoon into four bowls and sprinkle with extra Parmesan. Serve immediately.
© 2005 All rights reserved. Published by Murdoch Books.