How do you make the Yummiest Pumpkin Risotto?
In the middle of pumpkin season I’m always on the lookout for new ways to include pumpkin in recipes. A couple days ago I was having a friend over for a mid-week dinner and wanted to make something special without too much fuss. I had been thinking of preparing Asian-inspired vegan pumpkin dumplings yet in the end opted for developing a new recipe for Pumpkin Risotto.
Risotto is a dish best made immediately before serving, which makes it a little complicated when entertaining guests. I prefer not being busy in the kitchen when the guests arrive and we’re eating appetizers. As a single dad, I don’t have a partner to entertain the guests while I finish up in the kitchen. So when good friends come to eat, we often huddle in the kitchen, drink wine and sample appetizers. Guests can sit around our large kitchen table while I finish up the preparations. This way I don’t miss any of the conversation. I try however to limit the amount of preparation needed.
Most cookbooks recommend roasting pumpkin in the oven to remove the flesh from the skin. Roasting helps bring out the flavors of pumpkin. If I need pureed pumpkin, most times I remove the skin with a knife, chop up the pumpkin in smaller pieces, and then cook them in a casserole with a little water over the stove. It only takes a few minutes to remove the skin and another 15 minutes or so to cook the pumpkin. The pumpkin should be cooked just enough so you can break it down with a fork.
I prepared the pumpkin a couple hours before guest arrival time to save time in the final round. About 45 minutes before arrival, I did the first messier steps for the risotto so only the easy steps remained. I also prepared the appetizers (bruschetta with tomato-olive topping and cold gazpacho) and cleaned up my kitchen (a must if guests are going to hang out there).
It was my first time making Pumpkin Risotto and I did not have any prior experiences eating it to inspire me. I decided to model my Pumpkin Risotto on one of my favorite recipes: Pumpkin Sage Pasta.
When we sat down to taste the final result, I was absolutely amazed with the first forkful. The Pumpkin Risotto was creamy and full of heavenly flavor. Yes, I had a spiritual moment when I first tasted this Pumpkin Risotto. It had the WOW factor!
Try this Pumpkin Risotto while pumpkins are still in season. Make it for a special meal for friends and family. Please share this recipe with your friends and leave your feedback below in the comments section.
- 2 tbsp olive oil extra virgin
- 2 onion medium
- 500 g arborio rice uncooked and unwashed
- 250 ml white wine dry
- 1200 ml vegetable broth (see notes)
- 500 g pumpkin puree fresh or canned
- 30 g butter
- 100 g Pecorino cheese grated
- 200 g Parmesan cheese grated
- 6-8 leaves sage dried
- 150 g mushrooms mixed or up to double the amount (optional)
- If preparing your own pumpkin puree, see instructions by following the link above in the list of ingredients.
- Prepare the vegetable broth and heat it in a casserole.
- Pour the olive oil in a large deep pan over a medium flame. Dice the onions and place them into the heated pan. Continue to cook the onions for a few minutes until the onions become translucent.
- Add the arborio rice to the pan. Stir and let saute while stirring for about a minute. The rice will begin to look translucent. (It's important not to wash the rice before cooking as the starch on the outside of the rice kernels will help to give the risotto a creamy texture).
- Add the sage leaves and the white wine and keep stirring. Continue to cook a few minutes over the medium flame until the wine has cooked into the rice.
- Reduce the flame. Start slowly adding the vegetable broth, one ladle at a time. After each ladle, stir gently the rice until it absorbs most of the broth. Continue with the ladles until most of the broth has been used (about 15 minutes). You can add the excess pumpkin liquid along with one of the ladles. The rice should be soft with a slight firmness.
- Add the pureed pumpkin and mix it gently into the rice for 1-2 minutes over the low flame.
- Remove the pan from the flame and add the Pecorino and Parmesan cheeses as well as the butter. Gently stir these into the risotto. Cover the pan and let sit a couple minutes as the cheese and butter melt into the risotto.
- Adjust seasoning with salt and pepper. Add more sage if needed, but watch out since a little goes a long way.
- If you are adding mushrooms, saute them in a little olive oil in a separate pan. Before serving, place the mushrooms over the top of your risotto dish.
- Serve and enjoy the risotto while it's hot!