A nip is in the air, you’ve dug out your favorite sweaters, and that quintessential flavor that marks the start of fall has arrived. It's pumpkin time!
While these bright orange gourds displayed at your local IGA are waiting to be carved into frightening jack-o-lanterns, there is nothing scary about this recipe for pumpkin risotto. This almost-no-stir recipe using canned pumpkin makes a comforting side dish to accompany a weeknight supper of pan-seared pork chops or roasted chicken. With a few hearty additions, it can also stand alone as a main dish meal.
Pumpkin Risotto Serves 6 to 8 as a side dish
1 tsp olive oil 1 small onion, chopped fine (about 1 cup) 1 clove garlic, minced 1 ½ cup Arborio rice (Arborio rice has a pearly white exterior and is plumper and shorter than the rice you may be used to cooking. It also has a higher starch content, helping make risottos so creamy and comforting. If you try to substitute with long grain rice you won’t get the velvety texture that risotto is known for.) 1/2 cup white wine 4 to 5 cup chicken stock or broth 1 15oz can IGA pumpkin (careful not to grab the pumpkin pie filling!) 2 tablespoons butter ½ cup grated parmesan cheese 1 tablespoon chopped fresh sage or 2 tsp dried sage Salt and pepper to taste
Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium-high heat, add onion and sauté 4 or 5 minutes until softened. Add garlic and stir until fragrant, about 30 seconds. Add rice and stir to coat.
Add 4 cups chicken broth and white wine. Bring to a simmer and cover, continue cooking until liquid is absorbed. Stir just a couple of times until rice has absorbed almost all the liquid, about 15 to 18 minutes. Add additional broth if needed, you want rice to be tender but have a little bite to it, cooked al dente.
Stir in pumpkin, butter, parmesan, and sage and heat through. Season with salt and pepper to taste and serve immediately.
For a heartier one-dish meal, sauté sliced mushrooms and your favorite sausage until browned and cooked through. Any of your favorite sausages will work: Italian sausage (mild or spicy), pork or turkey breakfast sausage. Add cooked sausage mixture into rice mixture after you add pumpkin, stir until heated through, serve immediately. Makes 4 main dish servings.
About the Author Tammy Tracy has been experimenting, studying, and practicing the art of cooking for over 30 years, with a career that includes professional catering, food journalism, and even a dash of food television. Tammy, who as the daughter of an IGA retailer grew up surrounded by family, friends, and food, finds her inspiration in simple and fun meals that everyone from busy professionals to time-scarce families can prepare and enjoy.
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