Pumpkin Risotto

I made a lot of pumpkin purée last fall, which took up residence in the freezer. In an effort to continue the meat detox from our KC trip and clear out some of the longer-term freezer occupants, finally got to try this recipe. As I already have neutral pumpkin purée (so I can go sweet or savory), I changed a few aspects of the original and the recipe below will reflect what I did.

This risotto has a texture that is completely extraordinary. As in many things involving pumpkin, it’s subtly sweet and velvety. While cooking, it becomes much saucier than I’m used to. I think that makes it extra important that you let it rest, covered and off the burner, after finishing.

2 T olive oil
2 large or 3 small shallots, finely chopped
3 cloves garlic, pressed
2 c/500 g arborio rice
1 c white wine
1/2 t coarsely ground black pepper
1/2 t dried thyme
5-6 c/1.25-1.5 l chicken or vegetable broth (must be at a simmer when added to rice)
1 c/250 g pumpkin purée
1 c/250 g grated parmesan cheese, divided
2 T butter

In a wide, deep lidded skillet, heat oil to medium. Sauté the shallots and garlic to just tender, then add rice to skillet, stirring frequently and coating well with oil.

Add white wine to skillet and, stirring constantly, cook until liquid is almost completely cooked off. Add pepper and thyme, lower heat to low, stir and start adding broth by the ladle. When one ladleful cooks off, add another, stirring all the time.

When about two thirds of the broth is added, stir in the pumpkin purée. The texture will change and the sauce will become quite thick and possibly splattery. Right before the last broth addition, turn the burner off and add the cheese and butter.

After stirring in the last bit of broth, put the lid on the skillet, take it off the hot burner and let it sit for 10 minutes before serving.

7 thoughts on “Pumpkin Risotto”

  1. shoreacres

    This sounds luscious. I love pumpkin in all its forms, and this would be a nice change from the usual breads, bars, pies, and so on.

    Not only that, it’s easily halved, which is something those of us who cook for one most of the time look for. ;)

    1. Sarah

      Hi shoreacres,

      I’m glad you mentioned that bit about halving it. We’re pretty lazy cooks, so we really only like to cook one thing and then be done with it. And if that means leftovers, bonus! If you’re making this as a side dish or as a main and don’t want leftovers (which I don’t understand), then definitely halve the whole affair.

  2. Harvey Morrell

    If you’ve got pumpkin puree, then you’ve got pumpkin spätzle, which goes perfectly with a Thanksgiving Truthahn/Pute.

    1. cliff1976

      Harvey, can you believe that in 9 years of living here, we’ve never made our own Spätzle? (Particularly Kasspatzen.)

      Got a recipe for us to try? After the success of pumpkin risotto, I’d surely give Kürbisspätzle a try.

  3. Harvey Morrell

    You can safely substitute 250 g of pumpkin puree for the creamed spinach in this recipe (I have put as much as 450 grams of puree in):
    http://mehrgedanken.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/spinach-spatzle/The dough shouldn’t be too firm – you want it to be able to go through the holes of your colander/spätzle maker -but you want it thicker than a pancake batter.

  4. Harvey Morrell

    The link should be:
    http://mehrgedanken.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/spinach-spatzle/I don’t know how the other one came up.

  5. Harvey Morrell

    One last time. I don’t know why the software keeps picking up the first letter of the next sentence and forcing a completely different blog post than the one I intended. :)http://mehrgedanken.wordpress.com/2010/09/15/spinach-spatzle/

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