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Pumpkin Risotto

Pumpkin Risotto

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Pour the stock into a 2-quart saucepan and keep it hot over low heat. Heat the olive oil in a braising pan over medium heat. Stir in the onion and cook stirring occasionally, until softened, about 4 minutes. Stir in the rice and continue stirring until the grains are coated with oil and the edges become translucent, 1 to 2 minutes.

Pour in the wine and let it boil, stirring the rice, until evaporated. Season the rice lightly with salt and ladle enough of the hot stock into the pan to barely cover the rice. Bring to a boil, then lower the heat so the stock is at a simmer. Cook, stirring constantly until all the stock has been absorbed. Continue cooking, pouring in the remaining hot stock in small batches and cook until each batch of stock has been absorbed.

Stir constantly until the rice mixture is creamy, 16 to 20 minutes. Add pumpkin, ginger, nutmeg, and basil and simmer until heated through. Remove the pan from the heat and stir in the butter until completely melted.

Heat the stock until almost boiling and then keep over a very low heat. In a separate heavy-based saucepan fry the onion in the oil over a low heat until soft but not browned. Add the chopped sage and cook for a couple more minutes.

Add the rice and mix well for a few seconds to coat the grains with oil, then pour in one-third of the stock and bring to a gentle simmer. Cook until almost all the stock is absorbed. Add the pumpkin or squash and a little more stock, and continue to simmer gently until the stock is absorbed.

From then on add more stock a little at a time, until the pumpkin is soft and the rice nicely al dente (has a little bite to it). You may not need all the stock, but the texture should be loose and creamy.

When the risotto is almost ready, heat the sunflower oil in a small pan and quickly fry the sage leaves until crispy - it only takes a matter of seconds.

Stir the butter into the risotto, and season well with salt and pepper. Divide into 4 bowls and sprinkle a few crispy sage leaves over each portion. Bring the cheese and a grater to the table for your guests to serve themselves.

Pumpkin Risotto

Creamy, cheesy and delicious! Perfect side dish or main course for those chilly fall evenings!


  • 2 Tablespoons Butter
  • 1 cup Onion, Diced
  • 2 cloves Garlic, Finely Minced
  • 1 cup Arborio Rice
  • ½ cups Pureed Pumpkin
  • 3 cups Chicken Stock
  • 1 whole Bay Leaf
  • ⅛ teaspoons Ground Thyme
  • ⅛ teaspoons Poultry Seasoning
  • Salt And Pepper, to taste
  • ¼ cups Grated Parmigiano Reggiano Cheese
  • 3 Tablespoons Heavy Cream


Preheat a large skillet with high sides over medium heat. Melt butter and saute onions until translucent, 4 minutes. Stir in garlic and cook until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Pour in arborio rice and stir to coat all grains in the butter. Pour in the pumpkin puree and about one cup of chicken stock as well as all the spices. Stir until water has been absorbed. Continue in this fashion until no stock is left and risotto is thick. Right before serving, add in cheese and cream. Serve immediately with more cheese, if desired.

Pumpkin Risotto

Heat the oil in a nonreactive medium saucepan. Add the pumpkin and half of the onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring frequently, until the pumpkin is just tender, about 7 minutes. Stir in the wine, nutmeg, white pepper and salt and cook, stirring occasionally, until most of the liquid has evaporated, about 12 minutes. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly.

In a food processor, puree the pumpkin mixture until smooth. Transfer to a small bowl.

In a medium saucepan, bring the Vegetable Stock for Risotto to a boil over moderate heat. Reduce the heat to low and keep the stock hot.

In a nonreactive medium saucepan, heat 2 1/2 tablespoons of the butter until it begins to sizzle. Add the rice and the remaining onions and cook over moderately high heat, stirring with a wooden spoon, until the onions are translucent, about 7 minutes. Immediately stir in 1 cup of the hot stock and cook, stirring constantly, until all of the liquid has been absorbed, about 2 minutes.

Reduce the heat to moderate and gradually add 3 more cups of the hot stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring and cooking until each cup is almost absorbed before adding the next, about 15 minutes. Stir in the pumpkin puree. Continue adding the remaining 3 cups stock, 1 cup at a time, stirring and cooking as above, until the rice is tender, about 10 minutes longer. The risotto will be quite loose. Stir in the parsley and the remaining 2 1/2 tablespoons butter.

Spoon the risotto into 6 warmed soup plates and sprinkle the Parmesan on top. Serve immediately.

How to Make Risotto: 4 Tips for Beginners

1. Warm the Stock
Before you add the stock or broth to the rice, it should be heated. Warm stock allows for quicker absorption and lowers cooking time to about 30 minutes. Keep stock at a simmer in a small pan so everything stays hot and cooks evenly. The heated stock allows the rice to continue to tenderize and the starches to swell.

2. Don’t Overcook the Rice
The rice should be cooked al dente – just cooked with a little bit of bite to it. Risotto should have body, be it shouldn’t be mushy or starchy. When you add broth or wine, make sure to stir and wait until it’s fully absorbed and the rice is nearly dry before adding more.

3. Cook Vegetables Separately
Cook your vegetables separately before adding them to your risotto. The rice should be finished cooking as adding them in before will result in mushy vegetables. This is especially important for tender greens like spinach and vegetables like mushrooms, asparagus and legumes. Chives and lemon zest should always be added on top at the very end.

4. Save Cheese for Last
Cheese such as parmesan should be added at the very end of the cooking process. Fat breaks under heat and will end up making the entire dish unpleasant. Once the risotto is cooked, take the pot off the heat and let it cool for a few minutes. Add grated parmesan to give risotto it’s creamy texture and delicious taste!

Pumpkin Risotto with Mushrooms (Italy)

Fall is finally here and what better way to celebrate this colorful season than by eating its most iconic products? Pumpkin and mushrooms are always a great combination and they work together amazingly well in this classic pumpkin risotto . The sweet and slightly nutty flavor of the pumpkin pairs perfectly with the umami of the mushrooms, the salty sharpness of the Pecorino cheese ties everything together, creating a great creamy consistency.

This recipe is an evergreen from the northern regions of Italy, and it is basically quintessential autumn in a pan. For this reason, during this time of the year, it is very common to find this pumpkin risotto as the dish of the day in many taverns throughout the country and especially in the Lombardy and Piedmont regions.

When I make this recipe at home, I usually like to use Pioppini mushrooms, but any variety you have on hand will work just fine. That being said, if you happen to have some wild mushrooms they will work even better! Last week, for instance, my grandmother and I went mushroom picking and came back with a good amount of fresh Porcini. I made this risotto with them and it was absolutely delicious!

If you want to make this recipe even quicker, you can use store bought pumpkin puree instead of stewing a fresh one. In this case, just make sure it is 100% pumpkin with no added sugars. Also, it is better to add the puree together with the mushrooms, after the rice has already been cooked.

On the other hand, if you have more time you could roast the pumpkin in the oven before adding it to the pumpkin risotto . It will take you around half an hour more, but you will definitely get a deeper and richer flavor.

Pumpkin Risotto

  • balanced
  • red-meat-free
  • tree-nut-free
  • fish-free
  • peanut-free
  • soy-free
  • shellfish-free
  • pork-free
  • Calories 959
  • Fat 37.0 g (56.9%)
  • Saturated 21.7 g (108.5%)
  • Carbs 110.3 g (36.8%)
  • Fiber 2.4 g (9.5%)
  • Sugars 10.9 g
  • Protein 29.0 g (58.0%)
  • Sodium 1627.9 mg (67.8%)


homemade or low-sodium chicken or vegetable stock

pumpkin purée (not pumpkin pie filling)

freshly ground black pepper

ground nutmeg, or 6 to 10 scrapes on a grater from a whole nutmeg

dry white wine, Italian preferred, such as Pinot Grigio or Pinot Bianco, or dry white vermouth

large sage leaves, finely chopped (optional)


Place the stock, pumpkin, salt, pepper, and nutmeg in a medium saucepan over high heat on a burner near the one where you'll be cooking the risotto. Stir to combine and bring to a gentle boil. Reduce the heat to a steady simmer.

Set a large saucepan next to the first one on the stovetop, add the butter, and melt over medium heat. Add the shallots and cook, stirring, until they are translucent with a few brown edges, 6 to 7 minutes.

Add the rice and stir until each grain is coated in fat, 2 to 3 minutes. Reduce the heat to low. Add the wine or vermouth and cook, stirring constantly, until it is absorbed.

Add 1/2 cup of the pumpkin stock mixture and stir constantly until absorbed. Add the remaining stock mixture, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly after each addition and adding the next amount only after the previous one is fully absorbed by the rice.

After you have used about 4 1/2 to 5 cups of the stock mixture (this will be about 30 to 35 minutes after you started adding the first 1/2 cup of stock), taste the rice to determine if it is very hard, firm, or al dente. You are looking for al dente, with the grains just a bit toothsome (a little resistant to the bite) but cooked — not hard or powdery. The rice should be enrobed in a creamy sauce and the grains should remain slightly al dente. If it is, you can move on to the next step. But it hasn't reached that stage, add more stock, this time 1/4 cup at a time, stirring after each addition and tasting once it has been absorbed. It should take about 45 minutes for all of the stock mixture to be added and incorporated, but you might not need all of it, so it's important to slow down to 1/4 cup at a time and taste every few minutes.

Stir in the cheese and sage if using. Serve immediately. Risotto is not a make-ahead dish. Even if you finish it 15 minutes before serving and simply allow it to sit, risotto turns into a paste.

Recipe Notes

Scaling: If you are making this for two, feel free to cut the recipe in half. You can also use it to make fried arancini the next day.

Storage: Risotto can be stored in the refrigerator in a covered container for 2 to 3 days, but it will get very thick. The pumpkin helps it from becoming super gooey, but when you rewarm it, the rice will get overcooked. None of this means that I don't ever do it or that it doesn't taste great anymore, but be very aware that the crucial part of this dish is the texture, which has a brief window of greatness and cannot be recovered.

Tami is a writer, recipe developer, culinary educator, and caterer. She is a graduate of the Professional Culinary Arts program at the Institute for Culinary Education (ICE) in New York.

Good Food

A great risotto is all about timing and temperature. The time-honoured technique of cooking the rice by adding a little hot liquid at a time, brings out the starch and allows each grain to slowly expand as it absorbs the stock, swelling into tenderness, with just a tiny bite of starch inside.
Cook over too high a heat, and you will evaporate your broth before the rice has a chance to absorb it. Too low, and it will take forever to cook the rice.
Your stock needs to be hot, because adding cold stock would lower the temperature of the rice and cause uneven cooking.
Stir often, but not relentlessly – it's OK to back off now and then. Just stay in the zone, so you can add the broth just before the rice asks for it.
Beating in butter and parmesan at the end – a process Italians call the mantecatura, or "mounting", is a clever way to stop the rice cooking even further by introducing something cold, while at the same time enriching it and giving it a glossy finish – Jill Dupleix

Pumpkin Risotto

5 cups 1-inch cubes pumpkin flesh
6 tablespoons butter or olive oil
1 large or 2 medium onions, diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 / 4 teaspoon ground nutmeg
1 tablespoon minced fresh sage or rosemary
1 1 /2 cups arborio or other short-grain rice
Salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 / 2 cup dry white wine
4 to 6 cups chicken, beef or vegetable stock
1 / 2 cup freshly grated Parmesan, plus more for garnish
1 / 4 cup thinly sliced almonds or chopped pistachios


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil and add the pumpkin boil until soft, 15-20 minutes. Drain the pumpkin and purée until smooth in a blender or food processor.

2. Put 2 tablespoons butter or oil in a large, deep skillet over medium heat. When hot, add the onions and cook until they soften, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic, nutmeg and herbs, and continue cooking another minute or so do not brown.

3. Add 2 tablespoons butter or oil raise the heat to medium-high and add the rice. Cook, stirring occasionally, until it is glossy and coated, 2 to 3 minutes. Sprinkle with salt and pepper stir in the wine and let most of it bubble away.

4. Begin adding the pumpkin purée and stock alternately, 1/2 cup or so at a time, stirring after each addition. When the liquid is just about evaporated, add more the consistency should not be soupy or dry. Stir frequently.

5. Taste the rice about 20 minutes after you add it. You want it to be tender but still have some crunch this can take up to 30 minutes. When the rice is done, turn off the heat and stir in the remaining butter or oil and Parmesan taste and adjust the seasoning. Heat a dry skillet and add the nuts toast until fragrant. Sprinkle the risotto with toasted nuts and more freshly grated Parmesan serve.

List of Ingredients

  • 1 QT. of vegetable broth
  • 11 OZ. of pumpkin, cleaned, skin on
  • “Vialone nano semilavorato” risotto rice
  • 2 of oranges
  • Rosemary
  • Bay leaves
  • Extravirgin olive oil
  • Salt


To make orange and pumpkin risotto, first carefully clean the pumpkin (no need to peel). Cut into chunks and coarsely grate. Heat a drizzle of oil in a casserole dish and add the grated pumpkin cook for 2 minutes until beginning to soften next, add a little salt, 2 bay leaves, and a ladleful of vegetable broth, then cover and cook for 7 minutes.

Add the rice and toast for a moment, then bring to the boil, gradually adding the stock along with the juice of 1 1/2 oranges. Continue cooking a further 20 minutes. Finely chop a sprig of rosemary along with the rind of half an orange and combine with 3 tbsp oil to make the gremolata. Remove the rice from the heat, season to taste, and top with the gremolata.

Recipe Summary

  • 1 small sugar pumpkin - seeded, peeled, and diced
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • 1 teaspoon dried sage
  • 1 pinch salt and ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 shallot, diced
  • 1 cup Arborio rice
  • 4 cups hot chicken broth
  • ¼ cup grated Parmesan cheese

Preheat an oven to 400 degrees F (200 degrees C). Lightly oil a baking sheet.

Toss diced pumpkin with 2 tablespoons olive oil, sage, salt, and black pepper in a bowl. Spread evenly onto the prepared baking sheet.

Bake in the preheated oven, turning once midway through cooking, until pumpkin begins to brown, about 25 minutes.

Melt butter and remaining 1 tablespoon olive oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add shallot cook and stir until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add rice and stir until the rice is coated in oil and has started to toast, 2 to 3 minutes. Add 3 1/2 cups chicken broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring slowly after each addition until absorbed into the rice. Add the roasted pumpkin. Stir in the remaining 1/2 cup chicken broth until mostly absorbed and rice is tender adding the broth should take about 20 minutes total. Turn off heat and stir in the Parmesan cheese.


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