Spooky Black Rice with Pumpkin and Pecorino

Spooky Black Rice with Pumpkin and Pecorino
Staff Writer
Black Rice with Pumpkin and Pecorino
Molly Aronica
Black Rice with Pumpkin and Pecorino

With Halloween only a couple of weeks away now, there's no better time to celebrate the spirit of the holiday and the produce of the season with a warm and hearty dish. This risotto-style rice dish would be great served as a festive side or as a main dish, paired with a fall-inspired soup or salad. 

Click here to see the Not Just for Carving: 8 Pumpkin Recipes story.

Ingredients

For the pumpkin:

  • ½ pound fresh pumpkin, peeled, seeded, and diced
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste

For the rice:

  • 4 cups homemade or store-bought vegetable broth
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • ½ large yellow onion, diced
  • 1 ¼ cups Italian black rice
  • ½ cup dry white wine
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • ¾ cup pecorino romano cheese, freshly grated
  • ¼ cup ricotta cheese
  • 2 tablespoons fresh mint leaves, finely chopped 

Directions

For the pumpkin:

Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.

Toss the diced pumpkin with the olive oil, salt, and pepper, and transfer to a baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for about 40 minutes or until soft and tender (but not mushy). 

For the rice:

Simmer the vegetable broth in a medium-sized pot over medium heat. Meanwhile, heat the olive oil in a heavy saucepan over medium heat and sauté the onions until soft and translucent. Pour the rice into the pan and toast for 2 minutes before adding the white wine, salt, and pepper.

Working slowly, add the broth to the rice, one ladle at a time, making sure to give the rice enough time to absorb most of the liquid each time — roughly 1 ladleful every 5 minutes. Make sure to stir the rice gently, but constantly. After 5 ladles of broth have been absorbed, cover the pan and let the rice simmer for about 10 minutes undisturbed. Check the consistency and continue adding the broth until the rice is cooked, but not gummy. 

Remove the pan from the heat and swirl in the pecorino and ricotta cheeses. Top with the pumpkin and fresh mint and serve immediately. 

Rice Shopping Tip

Rice is enjoyed in almost all cuisines and is readily available globally. For a simple side dish to any meat or vegetable entrée, rice is a great complement.

Rice Cooking Tip

Be sure you are using the correct type of rice needed to obtain the result you are looking for. Long grain rice stays fluffy and individual while shorter grain rice is starchier. Also, rinse all rice before use.

Rice Wine Pairing

Tempranillo or other light Spanish red wine types with paella, even seafood paella. Various other wines depending on what rice is cooked with; see Pasta Recipes and other individual food types.

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