Recipe: Pumpkin risotto with rosemary butternut squash

As soon as the leaves start to change colors, I crank up my Halloween playlist and get busy in the kitchen . As a fall junkie, I tend to grab every pumpkin flavored item I can get my hands on. This year,  I decided to go the savory route with a creamy pumpkin risotto, and opt out of my typical pumpkin spice latte–who am I fooling, I’ve already had plenty of these. 🙂

*This recipe is adapted from the Spoon Fork Bacon blog.

Pumpkin Risotto

Serves 6

1 1/2 cups pumpkin purée

2 tbsp light brown sugar

1 tsp ground cinnamon

1/2 tsp ground nutmeg

pinch ground clove (optional)

2 tbsp heavy (whipping) cream 

5 1/4 cups vegetable or chicken broth 

6 tbsp unsalted butter–divided by tablespoon

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

1 yellow onion, diced

1 clove garlic, minced

2 cups Arborio rice

1-2 tbsp mascarpone cheese

¼ cup parmesan cheese, grated 

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, minced

salt and pepper to taste

1. Add the pumpkin, brown sugar, cinnamon, nutmeg, clove and cream into a small pot and bring to a simmer, about 5 minutes.
2. Remove mixture from the heat and pour into a blender with 1/4 cup vegetable or chicken broth, add salt and pepper to taste and blend.
3. Add 1/4 cup of butter, with the motor running, 1 tablespoon at a time. Blend until smooth, about 3 minutes.
4. Add mixture to a bowl and set aside.
5. Pour the rest of the chicken broth into a medium pot  over low heat.
6. Place a large sauté pan over medium heat and melt the remaining butter and olive oil.
7. Add the onion and garlic and sauté for about 3 minutes–we found it to be too much onion, so I added about half of a yellow onion, and not a whole.
8. Add the rice and sauté for 3 to 5 minute or until each grain of rice is coated in oil and there is a white dot in the center of each grain.
9. Begin adding the warm broth to the rice, one ladle at a time, stirring frequently.
10. Each time the liquid evaporates, add another ladle of broth and continue to stir.
11. Continue to add liquid and stir until the rice is al dente, 20-25 minutes.
12. Stir in the pumpkin purée until completely combined.
13. Stir in the mascarpone and parmesan until smooth. Fold in the thyme and season with salt and pepper. *The more mascarpone added, the creamier and thicker the risotto will be. We found best results using 1 tbsp.

As a quick, easy and seasonally appropriate side I decided to toss some butternut squash in the oven. So perfect in flavor and texture, this dish won’t let you down.

Rosemary Infused Butternut Squash

3-4 sprigs of fresh rosemary

1 Butternut squash

1 tbsp. butter 

1-2 tbsp. light brown sugar

salt and pepper to taste 

1. Pre-heat the oven to 375 degrees

2. Slice the butternut squash on a horizontal angle, separating the base from the neck. Peel and cube the squash.

3. Grease a baking pan with 1/2 tbsp. butter, add the squash, and coat with the remaining 1/2 tbsp.

4. Toss the squash in the brown sugar, rosemary and salt and pepper.

5. Bake for 20-30 minutes, squash is ready when tender and can be pierced with a fork.

So grab your pumpkin beer and get to work on this fab fall feast!

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