Risotto is the ‘mac n cheese’ of Italian Cuisine! Creamy and delicious, infuse it with flavor or keep it simple and plain. Risotto is traditionally made with short grain rice such as arborio or carnaroli. The rice can be made ahead to save time later. This delicious recipe brings the comfort of fall and flavor with roasted pumpkin. Watch Becky make the recipe on Studio 5
Yields: 4-6 Servings
1 sugar pumpkin*
4-5 tablespoons butter, divided
salt and pepper to taste
4-5 cups chicken broth
1 medium onion, chopped
2 cloves minced garlic
1 cup rice (arborio or other short grain rice)
¼ teaspoon nutmeg
½ cup shredded Parmesan cheese
Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Line large baking sheet with parchment paper (for easy cleanup) or lightly spray with non-stick spray; set aside.
*NOTE: frozen pumpkin cubes may be substituted for fresh raw pumpkin. For fresh pumpkin, slice it in half, remove seeds and peel, and cut into cubes.
Place pumpkin cubes in bowl and toss with 2-3 tablespoons melted butter. Spread on prepared baking sheet; salt and pepper to taste. Roast 30-35 minutes or until pumpkin is tender. Use approximately 2-cups roasted pumpkin in the recipe; use remaining roasted squash as a side dish.
While pumpkin is roasting prepare rice. Bring chicken broth to a boil in saucepan, reduce heat to simmer and keep hot while cooking rice.
Saute chopped onion in 2-tablespoons butter, over medium heat in a large saucepan or skillet, until translucent and just beginning to caramelize. Add garlic and stir until fragrant. Add rice and saute 1-2 minutes or until rice grains are coated. Stir approximately ½-cup chicken broth into rice; stirring frequently, cook until rice has absorbed broth. Add ground nutmeg. Continue to stir in simmering broth, ½-cup at a time, stirring frequently, allowing each addition of broth to be absorbed by rice before adding more; cook until rice is tender (about 20 minutes).
Stir in hot roasted pumpkin cubes during last 2-3 additions of broth. Stir in shredded parmesan cheese and additional broth to create desired consistency. Garnish with toasted chopped walnuts, additional parmesan cheese and a sprinkle of ground nutmeg.
* Fresh sugar pumpkin may be substituted with 2-cups frozen pumpkin, cubed butternut squash or even sweet potato. Follow steps for roasting above.
The fresh or traditional on-the-spot risotto will have the best flavor, but when needed risotto may be partially prepared. Restaurants commonly use this cook ahead trick to produce a good product when time is an issue. Add the first 2 to 2 ½ cups broth to the rice as per the recipe - basically par-cooking the rice. Remove rice from the heat and spread out in a shallow pan to cool quickly. Refrigerate until ready to finish. To finish up stir some boiling broth into the risotto. Stir in additional broth as directed by recipe above; add the pumpkin and cheese as per the recipe.