| American cuisine | Holiday | Rice
- 1½ pounds (650g) pumpkin or winter squash), whole
- ½ teaspoon salt
- 6 grinds freshly cracked black pepper
- 1 bunch fresh marjoram, chopped (some reserved for garnish)
- 2 cloves garlic, peeled and thickly sliced
- 5 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, divided
- 1 quart (120ml) chicken stock/broth
- 10 tablespoon unsalted butter at room temperature, divided
- 1 medium red onion, finely diced
- 1½ cups (360g) risotto rice (plump, medium grain rice that contains a lot of starch, the types Arborio or Carnaroli are traditionally best. Other rices that work well are Roma, Vialone, Nano and Maratelli.)
- 5 tablespoons extra-dry white vermouth
- 1½ cups (360g) Parmiggiano Reggiano, finely grated, plus extra to sprinkle at the table
- Preheat oven to 425° F (210c).
- Remove seeds and fiber from inside the pumpkin and cut into chunks. Place skin side down on a baking pan brushed with a little olive oil. Season with salt and pepper, scatter the marjoram and garlic over the pieces, cover with foil and bake about 45 minutes, or until soft. Remove from oven and allow to cool. Cut the flesh from skin into small cubes and reserve the baking juices.
- Heat the chicken stock and check for seasoning.
- Melt 6 tablespoons butter and 2 tablespoons olive oil in a wide, heavy-bottomed sauté pan or pot. Add onion and gently sauté until soft. Add rice and stir until completely covered in oil. Now, add vermouth and stir until it is absorbed by the rice.
- Turn heat to medium high and begin adding stock, ½ cup (120ml) at a time, and stir until stock is completely absorbed by the rice. Continue this process until all the stock is incorporated.
- Stir in remaining butter in small pieces, pumpkin with its juices, and cheese. Serve immediately with a sprinkle of cheese and fresh marjoram to garnish.