Risotto is a delicious rice dish that is prepared in different ways. There are vegetable, meat and seafood variations depending on which region the recipe originates from or a personâ€™s taste. Parmesan cheese is often used but I personally think Pecorino Romano is fine as well. It is often tasty in itself because of its ingredients, but the cheese adds some saltiness; although you may still season it with salt and pepper if desired. Seafood risotto on the other hand does not contain cheese because the sweet taste of the seafood becomes the highlight of the recipe.
Unlike its Spanish counterpart the paella wherein the rice is dry and soft, risotto is usually al dente- with a bite and more on the creamy side.
1 tablespoon oil
1 medium onion, sliced
4 garlic cloves, crushed
350g ground beef
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup white wine
5 cups hot chicken stock
750g pumpkin, cut into 2cm cubes
250g fresh or canned button mushrooms, sliced
2/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese
1/3 cup chopped parsley
Melt the butter in a large saucepan over medium heat. SautÃ© the onions and garlic or 2-3 minutes until the onions become translucent and the onions are lightly browned.
Add the ground beef and cook it for another 4-6 minutes until the liquid evaporates, the meat is browned and there are no more lumps.
Stir in the rice and pour in the wine. Increase the heat to high and bring the mixture to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and let it simmer for another 2-3 minutes until the meat and rice absorb the wine. Pour in one fourth of the stock and let the mixture absorb it. Repeat this for the remaining stock.
Add the mushrooms and the pumpkin once you have added half of the soup stock. Cook it for another 10-15 minutes until the vegetables are soft and the rice is al dente. Add more stock if needed.
Remove from heat and stir in the parsley and the Parmesan cheese. Divide the risotto into separate plates and garnish with parsley and Parmesan if desired. Serve immediately.
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