As promised, I have another pumpkin recipe for you! This one came about as a result of my desire to use up the rest of a can of pumpkin left over after making my Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Cookies a few days ago.
I love risotto, and figured that might be a good way to use up some pumpkin. Since learning to make risotto is really more about learning a method, rather than any individual recipe, this particular recipe came about as a result of my prior experiences with risotto, and a little luck of course! Because of this, I don’t really have any recipe to link back to for this one.
I know that making risotto can seem pretty daunting. Fear not. It’s not really all that difficult… just sort of labor intensive.
2 tbs olive oil
2 tbs butter
1 1/2 cups arborio rice
5 cups chicken or vegetable broth (ideally you’d use 1 cup dry white wine and 4 cups broth, but I didn’t have any wine)
1 29 oz. can, minus 1 cup pumpkin puree (NOT pumpkin pie filling; try Libby’s)
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/4 tsp ground nutmeg
1 medium white onion, chopped (or 2-3 shallots, chopped)
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup Parmesan cheese, grated
salt and pepper to taste
Heat your broth (or combination of broth and wine) in a pot over medium heat.
In another (large) pot, heat olive oil and butter over medium heat until butter is melted. Add onion and garlic to the pot, stirring occasionally until onions are translucent. Add the cumin and nutmeg to the pot, stir to distribute throughout the onions, garlic, butter, and oil.
Add the arborio rice to the pot. Stir the rice around until every grain is coated in the butter and oil. Stir frequently, and allow the rice to toast a bit, just until it begins to smell nutty.
Next comes the labor intensive portion of the recipe. Add a couple of ladles of broth to the rice. Begin stirring, almost constantly. You probably shouldn’t walk away from your stove after this point. It’s pretty easy for everything to burn on the bottom if you don’t stir it often enough. Once the rice has absorbed the liquid, add in another couple of ladles of broth. Resume stirring. Continue to add more liquid and stir until all of the liquid has been absorbed into the rice. It should be nice and creamy.
At this point you can add your cheese and pumpkin puree to the rice. Stir it all around until everything is well-combined. Make sure to taste it, then add some salt and pepper as you see fit.
This was probably the best risotto I’ve ever made. It was perfectly creamy. It had a nice cheesiness to it, but you could definitely still taste the pumpkin. Feel free to add more or less pumpkin, depending upon your level of infatuation with the stuff. Next time around I may try adding 1/2 tsp or so of chili powder, too. Some more smokiness and some heat might be nice.
If you need to use up some pumpkin, or if you just happen to love the stuff, I’d really recommend you give this a shot!