Nostalgia and a feeling of warmth flows over me whenever I hear the word risotto (ri-sòt-to/riˈzoːtto, pronunciation is key– nothing quite irks me like this one, it’s not ri-SOH-toh or ri-ZAH-toh people!). It is definitely the comfort food that instantly brings me back to my childhood. Growing up with Italian roots, risotto was always my choice of comfort carb -forget about the pasta. My mom would make her chicken giblets, garlic, and white wine recipe (simplicity at its best) and a smile would cross my face as the smell of heaven circulated the house.
As I grew older, I gravitated towards the more complex varieties. Seafood, squash, beet, truffled mushroom, the flavour combinations bountiful and ever changing. How do we try them all? Different variations are constantly popping up at my favourite restaurants or in my favourite magazines, often surrounding the latest food trend – which inspired me to introduce pumpkin to my love of risotto.
Once the cooler weather hit, I was set on stirring up a pumpkin risotto. And low and behold a friend of mine happened to post this dish days after the idea entered my mind. So here it is, pumpkin risotto. Best served as a meal or would make a killer side dish to an apple stuffed pork tenderloin (just saying).
Pumpkin Risotto (yields 6 servings)
- 2 cups aborio rice
- 1 cup bacon, sausage or pancetta
- 1 medium onion
- 2 cloves garlic
- 4-5 sprigs rosemary
- 1.5 litres of vegetable stock
- 1 tbsp paprika
- 1 tbsp olive oil
- 1 can of pumpkin puree
- S&P to taste
- In saucepan saute, oil, onion, garlic on medium heat
- Add in meat option, paprika and rosemary and mix until meat is cooked through
- Add aborio rice to mixture, once coated add 2 ladles of vegetable broth
- Once absorbed add 2 more ladles of vegetable broth
- Repeat adding ladles of broth every five minutes on medium to low heat for 20 minutes
- Melt in pumpkin puree within the last minutes of cooking
- Serve with parmesan, cracked black pepper and rosemary