Creamy Pumpkin Risotto
It’s Autumn and nearly Halloween, so pumpkin fever is real! But pumpkins aren’t just for carving and decorating. I love using pumpkin in desserts, but this time I wanted to try using it in a savoury recipe.
Risotto is a rich, creamy Italian rice dish, made using short-grain rice simmered in a rich stock. It’s a perfect warming comfort dish for Autumn.
The pumpkin puree adds an extra creaminess to the risotto, as well as lending a rich flavour. It also turns the usually bland-looking rice dish into a vibrant orange colour. You can used tinned pumpkin puree (make sure it’s 100% pumpkin – I use this) or why not use up the leftover pumpkin flesh from your Halloween decorations! Just bake the flesh and then puree until smooth.
The process of making risotto is easy, but it does take some “babysitting” because you need to “feed” the risotto gradually – you add a ladle or two of stock at a time and let it fully absorb before adding the next.
This dish is intended as a side. Serve along side your choice of protein, or simply add some ham, chicken or bacon in there to get a complete meal!
- 150g arborio rice
- 140g pure pumpkin puree (I use this, but you can also use fresh pumpkin – bake the flesh and then puree until smooth!)
- 10g salted butter
- 1 small red onion
- 2 garlic cloves
- 750ml prepared vegetable stock (I use Knorr stock cubes)
- 20g grated parmesan
- 1 Tbsp Philadelphia light cream cheese (optional, just adds creamyness)
- 1/2 tsp nutmeg
- 1 tsp turmeric
- 1 tsp cumin
- 1 tsp paprika
- handful of sage leaves, chopped (or dried sage)
- handful of fresh parsley, chopped
- salt & pepper, to taste
- Place a saucepan over a high heat. Once hot, add butter and let it melt.
- Add diced red onion and chopped garlic to the pan and allow to cook for about 5 minutes.
- Add arborio rice straight into the pan and stir it around to ensure it gets fully coated in the buttery pan-juices. Toast the rice grains for a further minute.
- Carefully add 1 or 2 ladles of prepared vegetable stock into the pan and reduce the heat down to a simmer. Stir until all of the stock is absorbed by the rice.
- Continue to add a few ladles of stock at a time, waiting for the liquid to be absorbed before adding more. Repeat this until the rice is soft, tender and clumping together. This should take 20-25 minutes.
- Add the pumpkin puree and mix into the rice. Season with nutmeg, turmeric, cumin and paprika.
- Stir in the cream cheese (if using) and grate in the parmesan cheese. Save some parmesan for garnishing at the end.
- Stir in the sage leaves (or dried sage) and chopped parsley.
- Remove the pan from the heat and serve. Garnish with grated or shaved parmesan and some parsley.
(for 4 servings)