Recipe: Pumpkin Risotto

Last Sunday, we were having a cozy day at home, working on meal prep for the week and whipping up a pumpkin pie from scratch, as you do.  We roasted a whole sweet pumpkin and pureed it for the pie, and of course had quite a bit left over.  I decided to transform the bit of puree and some of the pumpkin pieces into a delicious risotto, which really added to our warm and fuzzy fall vibes that day.

This dish resulted in a beautifully orange, perfectly creamy risotto that felt like a giant, comforting hug in a bowl.  The pumpkin flavors pair so well with the flavors of the wine and parmesan cheese in the risotto, it’s a fall flavor match made in heaven.  I also added a little bit of thyme from the garden for a slight herbal punch, and drizzled a little bit of extra virgin olive oil (the good stuff) over my final plate for that little bit of extra, green, grassy flavor.  All in all, this dish is the perfect treat for your next fall or winter weekend.

If you haven’t recently roasted a pumpkin, this recipe will work perfectly well with canned pumpkin puree.  This will also work nicely with a roasted butternut squash or any of your favorite fall squashes such as acorn or red kuri squash. This could be an excellent use for any leftovers (canned pumpkin from baked goods, roasted squash from previous dinners).

Recipe down below, photo up top!  This recipe makes a lot (I always make too much risotto!), so this would be enough for a nice dinner for a family of 4, or a dinner for 2 plus plenty of leftovers for lunches the following day.

Pumpkin Risotto

Ingredients:

  • ½ cup of pumpkin puree
  • 1 cup of roasted pumpkin or squash pieces (optional)
  • 1 onion, finely chopped
  • 1 cup arborio rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 1 quart chicken stock
  • ½ cup Parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 tsp fresh thyme leaves
  • 1 tsp salt

Method:

  1. If starting with a pre-roasted squash or pumpkin, dice the roasted squash into small (half inch) pieces, and set aside.  Add some additional roasted squash or pumpkin to a small food processor or blender, and puree until smooth.  Set pumpkin puree aside.
    1. If using only canned pumpkin, this step can be skipped.
  2. In a large, wide-bottomed pot, add the olive oil and warm up over medium heat on the stove top until hot, about 30 seconds.  Add the diced onions and stir to combine.  Cook the onions in the oil, stirring occasionally, until the onions begin to look translucent, about 3 minutes.
  3. Add the arborio rice to the pan with the onions, and stir to combine.  Allow the rice to toast slightly in the pan by stirring and cooking with the onions for about 2 minutes.
  4. Add the white wine to the pan with the rice and onions, and stir to combine.  Continue stirring until the wine has mostly evaporated or absorbed into the rice, about 2 minutes.
  5. Add 1 cup of the chicken stock along with the pumpkin puree, and stir to combine into the rice.  Continue to stir the rice mixture until most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, about 5-10 minutes.  Once most of the liquid has been absorbed by the rice, add the rest of the chicken stock in half-cup increments, stirring and allowing each new addition to be absorbed by the rice.  Begin to check for done-ness of the rice after cooking and stirring for about 20 minutes.  Rice should be tender with a little bit of firmness left when bitten, and the size of the rice grains should have doubled in size of the original grains.  Continue to add chicken stock as needed until the rice has fully cooked through.
  6. Once the rice has been fully cooked through, add the roasted squash or pumpkin pieces (optional), thyme, and salt, and stir to combine.  Remove from the heat and add the parmesan cheese, and gently stir to combine. 
  7. Serve with some extra parmesan cheese grated on top, along with a drizzle of extra virgin olive oil (the good stuff!). 
  8. Enjoy!

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