Pumpkin Risotto is my favorite! When I tried the pumpkin risotto + branzino combo for the first time I was still in Italy. It blew me away! That day I was looking for a way to use all the leftovers. Now, this recipe has become one of my classic go-tos! In this version, we used dried scallops (instead of the Italian Bottarga, dried fish roe) to add an Asian flavor to the dish.
Ingredients (2 Servings):
- 180g Riso Acquerello or Carnaroli or Vialone Nano
- 300g of Organic Kobocha Squash
- 150g of Branzino
- 1 Tablespoon of Dried Scallops
- 1 Spring Onion
- Fish Broth
- Extra-virgin Olive Oil
- Black Pepper
- Sea Salt
- Soak the dried scallops into freshly boiled water for 25-30mins. Drain the scallops after 30mins. Keep the water as it can be used as fish broth.
- Cut the squash and use a quarter of it. Remove the skin with a sharp knife.
- Dice the squash into cubes (half thumb size).
- Slice a spring onion and simmer it with extra-virgin olive oil.
- Once the oil is warm and the spring onion starts to sizzle, add the squash cubes and keep stirring until they are half cooked. Season with sea salt.
- Add the rice and toast it for a couple of minutes.
- Pre-heat the fish broth in a saucepan and keep it at a medium heat. If you don't have fresh fish broth, you can boil the water used to soak the dried scallops.
- Start pouring small amounts of the broth in the pan with the rice and continue stirring. Keep doing this for three quarters of the rice cooking time.
- Season with sea salt and black pepper.
- Add the branzino and continue stirring for a couple of minutes, adding broth to prevent the rice from sticking to the pot.
- Make sure you add the right amount of broth to make the risotto creamy (and not brothy or overcooked).
- Shred the dried scallops and panfry with extra-virgin olive oil for a couple of minutes. The pan-fried dried scallops will add crunchiness to the risotto!
- Once the risotto is finally cooked, drizzle some extra-virgin olive oil and add the pan-fried scallops on top.
- Season with freshly chopped chives, fresh thyme and freshly ground black pepper.