Cheesy Pumpkin Risotto
Whoa, this week has been flying by like a runaway train. This time of year is always such a chaotic rush to cram in all of the fun Fall things I love and enjoy every last bit of gorgeous weather before it turns cold, dark, and gray for the winter. I keep catching myself thinking it’s still mid-September when in fact October is almost done and over.
In between trying to cram in all of my favorite outdoor Fall activities, I keep trying to cram in all of my favorite Fall foods too. I couldn’t very well let October pass without sharing a pumpkin recipe, no matter how fast time is flying by. In the past I’ve shared recipes for pumpkin cookies (a few times), baked pumpkin donut holes, pumpkin oatmeal, pumpkin cheesecake and even pumpkin pie pudding.
This year we’re going savory with Cheesy Pumpkin Risotto.
Now if you’re like me and used to eating your pumpkin in desserts, your first thought might be that cheese and pumpkin seems a little strange. I assure you, it doesn’t taste strange at all. This risotto is a closer relative to mac and cheese than it is the classic pumpkin pie. It’s creamy and cheesy, with al dente bites of arborio rice for texture and lots of pumpkin flavor. The wine and slight heat from the cayenne give it that little bit of something extra that tastes it from good to great.
It’s completely, totally, fantastically addictive.
It seems like I’m always making confessions, but here I go with another one: I had never made risotto before my coworker gave me this recipe last year. (Yes, I’ve been keeping this recipe from you for a whole year. I’m sorry.) I’ve been hooked ever since. I do not know how I grew up in an Italian family and never managed to make risotto, but it’s true. So this recipe is a reflection of how I like to make and eat my risotto. I take a few short cuts in the process and it may not be 100% authentic, but I’m OK with that.
I think once you taste this Cheesy Pumpkin Risotto, you’ll be OK with it too!
Cheesy Pumpkin Risotto
Adapted from All Recipes
Serves 6 as a side
Make sure you use plain pumpkin puree, not pumpkin pie filling. I normally use only 3 cups of broth, but you may need 4 depending on your rice. I cheat and speed up the cooking process by microwaving the broth until it’s hot before adding it to the rice. I like to serve it with roasted chicken, though it can also make a fantastic meal on it’s own!
2 tablespoons unsalted butter
1/2 medium onion, diced
3/4 cup arborio rice
1/2 cup dry white wine
3 to 4 cups chicken broth
1/2 cup canned pumpkin puree
1/4 cup parmesan, grated
1/2 cup gruyere cheese, grated
1/4 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper (optional)
fresh herbs for garnish
Melt butter in a saucepan over medium heat. Add onion and saute until soft and translucent, about 5 minutes. Add arborio rice and stir. Cook for 2 minutes, stirring occasionally. Add wine to rice. Cook, stirring frequently, until wine has been absorbed. Meanwhile, pour 2 cups of chicken broth in a glass measuring cup and microwave on High for about 2 minutes, or until hot. Raise heat to medium-high. Add 1 cup of heated broth to rice and continue cooking, stirring frequently, until broth is absorbed. Repeat, adding 1 cup of heated broth and cooking until absorbed, with the remaining 2-3 cups of broth or until rice is al dente and creamy. Remove from heat. Stir in pumpkin, Parmesan and Gruyere. Add cayenne and salt to taste.
Best served immediately.