Marc Murphy and Kate Hudson Bring FarmVille's Farm-to-Table Focus Beyond the Computer

From slaying dragons to impersonating superheroes, so much of what happens in many computer games stays simulated, but just recently, Zynga's FarmVille, a popular Facebook application, began bridging the gap between the virtual and reality by launching the FarmVille to Table Recipe Book.

With the help of Chopped judge Marc Murphy, plus food fan Kate Hudson, Zynga's executive chef and a community of food bloggers, this brand-new digital recipe book allows FarmVille players to bring the game's farm-to-table focus into their own kitchen. Fans are used to planting crops and cultivating a farm to yield fresh produce in the game, and now they can use those fresh ingredients to create Marc's, Hudson's and others' decadent recipes  at home.

"The FarmVille to Table digital cookbook embodies the values of fresh, farm-to-table ingredients," Marc explains, adding that for fans, it "validates that cooking is fun, easy and an activity the whole family can enjoy."

Just in time for the autumn harvest, Marc shared a must-try recipe for his rich, creamy Pumpkin Risotto with Gorgonzola and Walnuts (pictured above). Read on below to get his showstopping recipe.

Marc Murphy's Pumpkin Risotto with Gorgonzola and Walnuts

Ingredients

1 small (1 3/4-pound) pumpkin, peeled, seeded and cut into 1-inch cubes

4 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
4 to 6 cups low-sodium chicken stock, as needed
1 medium white onion, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups Arborio rice
1 cup dry white wine
1 teaspoon sage, chopped
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
2 tablespoons Gorgonzola
2 tablespoons Parmesan
Kosher salt, season to taste
Freshly ground black pepper, season to taste
Toasted walnuts
Directions

Preheat oven to 400 degrees F.

Spread the pumpkin on a baking sheet and toss with 1 tablespoon of the oil. Season lightly with salt and pepper. Bake until tender, about 35 minutes. Remove from the oven and cover with foil to keep warm.

Bring the broth to a boil in a medium saucepan over high heat. Turn off the heat, but leave the saucepan on the stove.

Heat oil in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and garlic, and sweat until translucent, about 2 to 3 minutes. Add rice and cook for 2 minutes, stirring often, until it turns from translucent to opaque.

Next, pour the wine into the pot and cook until evaporated. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock, stirring constantly, until the rice absorbs almost all of the broth, about 3 minutes.

Repeat, keeping the risotto at a steady simmer and adding more broth as it is absorbed, until you use all the broth and the rice is barely tender, about 20 minutes total.

Melt butter and add the pumpkin, cook until heated through, about 1 minute.

Remove from the heat and stir in the cheese. Season to taste with the salt and pepper. Sprinkle with walnuts and serve.

The  FarmVille to Table Recipe Book is available as a mobile app on the  Apple App Store and on  Google Play as well.

Photo courtesy Zynga
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Marc Murphy Bio

Ask Chef Marc Murphy where he grew up and he'll fire off a list of cosmopolitan destinations — Milan, Paris, Villefranche, Washington, D.C., Rome and Genoa — "and that's before I turned 12," he’ll explain. This dizzying list of hometowns served as an excellent education in French and Italian cuisine, though as a teenager this was not his first passion. When the reality hit that he didn't have the funds to become a professional racecar driver, Marc followed his brother to the Institute of Culinary Education. After graduation he apprenticed at restaurants in France and Italy before returning to New York, where he landed a job as a line cook at Terrance Brennan's Prix Fixe. He stayed there for almost two years, working his way through every station in the kitchen and forging a professional bond with Brennan’s Sous Chefs Joseph Fortunato and David Pasternak. Eager to return to Europe, Marc flew to Paris and landed a position at the one-star Le Miraville, where he stayed for one-and-a-half years. Afterward, he staged at the famed Louis XV in Monte Carlo, where Executive Chef Alain Ducasse was so impressed with Marc's skills that he personally made arrangements for him to work with Sylvain Portay at Le Cirque once he returned to the States. Marc still considers Portay to be his greatest teacher. "Sylvain was above all concerned with coaxing out the most-vibrant, interesting flavors any ingredient had to offer, yet he insisted on minimal manipulation," he recalls. Following Le Cirque, Fortunato tapped him to work as a sous chef at Layla, Drew Nieporent's Middle Eastern fantasy in Tribeca, where he met consultant Georges Masraff. When Masraff joined forces to open Cellar in the Sky at Windows on the World, he recruited Marc to serve as executive chef. After receiving critical acclaim, including a two-star review from The New York Times, Marc headed uptown to serve as executive chef of La Fourchette, where NYT critic Ruth Reichl awarded him another glowing two-star review, citing his "open desire to transform food [so that] in his hands, even a simple green salad ... looks like a ruffled hat in a painting by Renoir." In March 2004 Marc opened his first solo enterprise with Landmarc [Tribeca], which won rave reviews both for its eclectic French and Italian menu as well as its highly untraditional wine list. Following its success, Marc opened Ditch Plains in the West Village in 2006 serving casual, beach-style cuisine such as lobster rolls, fish tacos and the infamous ditch dog, as well as other comfort food favorites. In 2007 Marc was given the opportunity to open another Landmarc restaurant in the pres­tigious Time Warner Center, where he brought his bistro-style cuisine midtown. In October 2013 Marc opened Kingside at the Viceroy New York hotel on New York's iconic West 57th Street, serving his interpretation of New American cuisine. Marc's restaurants now fall under the Benchmarc Restaurants by Marc Murphy name, where he acts as executive chef and owner. In addition to the restaurants, Marc also heads up the company's catering division, Benchmarc Events by Marc Murphy, where his signature style of accessible contemporary cuisine transcends the boundaries of what is offered in his restaurant locations. Today Marc's involvement in the industry moves beyond the restaurants as well, with a regular role as a judge on Food Network's top-rated hit Chopped as well as appearances on other hit series such as Guy's Grocery Games, Beat Bobby Flay and Worst Cooks in America. Marc also appears on The Rachael Ray Show and The Today Show, among others. He is the president of the Manhattan chapter of the New York State Restaurant Association, a board member of City Harvest, Culintro and Passport NYC at the 92nd Street Y Culinary Camp, as well as a member of the Food + Finance High School's Industry Advisory Board, a member of the Leadership Council for Share our Strength's No Kid Hungry campaign and the national spokesperson for Share Our Strength's Dine Out For No Kid Hungry. In 2012 Marc joined the U.S. Department of State's Diplomatic Culinary Partnership, where he takes part in public diplomacy programs that engage foreign audiences abroad as well as those visiting the United States. Marc's debut cookbook, Season with Authority: Confident Home Cooking, was released by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt in April 2015.

At Home with Marc Murphy

The Chopped judge invited Food Network Magazine to his Hamptons beachfront house.