After the events of this previous week, I’ve started reassessing my stance on pumpkin-flavored things. It was last Monday night that my car was obliterated by an angry drunk with a rap sheet the length of my forearm when I had a pumpkin spiced latte, but I thought little of the correlation.
It wasn’t until Thursday that a single lump of pumpkin gnocchi smothered in a viscous maple beurre blanc found itself lodged in my throat with nobody around to help but the cat, who looked neither concerned nor impressed, that I caught on: Pumpkin means danger.
But thinking of those children starving in various multisyllabic faraway countries, whom I’ve dubiously been told would be happy to eat a variety of oddly-prepared, ill-fated foods I rejected growing up, I side-eyed my remaining pumpkin puree and sighed. Stuck halfway between duty and hazard, I broke out the puree, which of course meant only one thing: I was probably going to catch dysentery.
Except I instead got risotto.
Risotto is one of those swanky sides that is served at highly inflated prices in restaurants and assumed to be difficult to prepare when technically, it’s one of the easiest and economically, one of the cheapest.
The entire time I spent in Italy I avoided risottos with the same fervor used to avoid abrasive close-talkers. I refuse to spend $17 on a dish that costs me half that for a four-plate serving and is simple to make. REFUSE. CAPITAL. LETTERS.
It’s my go-to dish when I’m in a pinch and have ingredients needing to be used up, and when I concede to being chained to the stove for a half hour, because with risotto, you can’t leave or move away from the stove. You are stuck stirring until that rice is done, and if you quit stirring even for a minute, you may as well start all over. But once you’ve finished, it all becomes worth it.
Unless you have my pumpkin curse, then maybe you should just get a burger instead.
[print_this]Recipe: Pumpkin Risotto
Preparation time: 2 minute(s)
Cooking time: 20 minute(s)
Number of servings (yield): 4
- ¼ cup olive oil
- ½ yellow onion, diced
- 1 clove garlic, minced
- 1 cup Arborio rice
- ½ cup dry white wine
- 5 cups chicken or vegetable stock
- ½ cup pumpkin puree
- 3 or 4 fresh sage leaves, minced
- ¼ cup Parmigiano-Reggiano, shredded
- 1 tsp salt
- White pepper to taste
- ¼ cup roasted pumpkin seeds (optional)
- In a large saucepan, heat stock over medium heat and keep warm.
- In a large skillet heat olive oil over medium heat. Add onions and cook until soft. Add garlic and sauté for 30 seconds.
- Add rice to skillet and stir for one minute until the oil has coated the grains, but do not let them brown. Add white wine and stir until completely absorbed by the rice.
- Stirring constantly, add one ladle of the warmed stock to the rice, allowing the rice to soak up almost all of the stock before adding in the next ladle of stock.
- Continue adding stock one ladle at a time and stirring constantly until the rice is very creamy and soft, but not mushy. This process will take about 15-20 minutes.
- Add in pumpkin puree and mix in completely. Remove from heat.
- Stir in sage, Parmigiano-Reggiano, salt and white pepper (adjusting salt and pepper according to taste) and serve immediately.
- Top with additional shredded Parmigiano-Reggiano and roasted pumpkin seeds, if using.