As the autumn leaves turn and the crisp chill in the air signals the arrival of harvest season, embracing the changing seasons with a comforting dish like Pumpkin Squash Risotto becomes the best way. This creamy, savory recipe will warm your soul, tantalize your taste buds, and encourage you to slow down.
- ½ pound of your favorite variety of pumpkin or squash peeled and diced
- 2 tablespoons of real organic salted butter
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- 1/2 cup dry white wine
- 2 cans (14 ounces each) of chicken broth (preferably low sodium)
- 2 tablespoons fresh sage, finely chopped (plus extra for garnish)
- 1 tablespoon fresh rosemary, finely chopped
- 1/2 cup grated parmesan cheese
- 2 cloves garlic, minced
- Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste
You can use more or less squash anywhere from ½ to 1 pound, but ½ pound is a good balance of rice and pumpkin.
Instructions for Pumpkin Squash Risotto:
- Prepare the Squash:
- Start by cutting the pumpkin or squash in half vertically.
- Use a spoon to scoop out and remove the seeds and any stringy bits from the center. (save the seeds)
- Once you’ve cleaned out the inside, you can proceed to peel and dice the pumpkin or squash into small, bite-sized cubes for the recipe.
Cleaning and removing the seeds ensures you’re using the tender flesh of the pumpkin or squash in your risotto, adding a creamy and savory flavor to the dish. The pumpkin we prepared in the photographs was more than this recipe needed. I made most of the leftover pumpkin into pumpkin peanut butter and pumpkin pet treats and fed the scraps to our chickens.
- Sauté the Squash: In a medium saucepan, heat butter over medium heat until it melts. Add the diced squash and sauté, stirring frequently, until the edges of the cubes soften and take on a slight caramelized hue, a process that usually takes about 6-7 minutes.
- Coat with Rice: Next, stir in the Arborio rice, ensuring it becomes thoroughly coated with the rich buttery mixture. Allow the rice to toast for a minute or two, enhancing its flavor.
- Deglaze with Wine: Pour in the white wine and cook until most of the liquid evaporates, typically around 1-3 minutes. This step infuses the rice and squash with a delightful flavor as the wine sizzles and melds with the other ingredients.
- Simmer with Broth: Commence adding the hot chicken broth gradually, one-half cup at a time, while keeping a gentle simmer over medium-low heat. Let the rice absorb each addition of liquid before incorporating more. Continue this process until the rice becomes tender and attains a creamy texture, which typically takes around 35 minutes.
- Season and Add Herbs: Stir in the minced garlic, along with the chopped sage and rosemary. Add a touch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to elevate the flavors.
- Finish with Parmesan: Once the risotto achieves its desired creamy consistency, introduce the grated parmesan cheese. Stir it in until the cheese fully melts and harmonizes with the risotto, enhancing its creaminess.
- Garnish and Serve: Plate the creamy pumpkin squash risotto, and garnish each serving with a sprinkling of fresh sage leaves, an additional drizzle of parmesan cheese, and a twist of freshly ground black pepper to add a final touch of visual and flavorful appeal.
Enjoy this delightful Pumpkin Squash Risotto as it celebrates the hearty bounty of autumn, transforming into the perfect comfort food as the days grow shorter and the air crisps. Savor every creamy and flavorful bite as it warms you from the inside out. Bon appétit!
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