Recipe by Carol Field from her cookbook Celebrating Italy.
Italians carve pumpkins for the annual pumpkin festival in Villastrada, near Mantua — they even set a candle inside each one just as Americans do at Halloween, but the resemblance ends there. The villagers carve pieces of pumpkin in the shape of fish, then fry and serve them as decoration on top of a creamy rice that is permeated with the taste of pumpkin. Making this dish is simplicity itself since the pumpkin (or squash) is merely boiled and then cooked with the rice, although I have reduced the amount of rice from the original. The magic comes in the mingling of tastes as creamy butter and cheese are stirred in.
- 1 lb butternut squash, peeled and seeded
- 3/4 cup Arborio rice
- 2 cups chicken broth (or water)
- 4 TB, unsalted butter, room temperature
- 1/2 cup Parmesan cheese (or Vella Jack), freshly grated
- Salt & pepper
- Cut the squash in thick slices and cook in boiling salted water until a knife pierces the flesh easily.
- Drain, peel, and cut into small chunks. Put the rice, diced squash, and cold broth in a pan.
- Bring to a boil, cover, and cook until the rice has absorbed the broth, about 15 minutes. Remove from the heat, stir in the butter and cheese, and serve immediately with a side salad.