There are few greater pleasures for me here in Sicily than being at home during the lunchtime and cooking up a good, creamy risotto whilst imagining the scene in the other kitchens of my street, where the women will be embarking upon a similar task. My kindly neighbours are always very concerned about whether I will cook pasta at one o'clock and if I meet any of them just before this time, they will ask if I am going to make un buon piatto di pasta. I reassure them that this is, indeed, the case and they proceed happily on their way, knowing that the world is not going to end [well, not this lunchtime, anyway].
As there are still some slices of pumpkin to be found in the shops, today I decided to make a risotto di zucca. I usually follow Carluccio's recipe as I like the addition of garlic and rosemary that he suggests. I rather unconventionally went a bit Milanese today and added saffron as I wanted it to be yellower. As I've said before, the secret of cooking a good risotto is to go away and have a drink while the rice absorbs the stock or water; then add more liquid to both your glass and the pan and repeat the process. The other secret is to add a goodly dollop of butter off the heat at the end.