Fall Fest: Pumpkin Risotto

By: Cameron Curtis
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We’re continuing our season long Fall Fest 2011, which welcomes food and garden bloggers to feature garden-to-table recipes and tips. We’ll help you to enjoy all that this season has to offer. First up was the classic fall favorite, apples, then a Thanksgiving staple, potatoes, and now we're featuring pumpkin.

Yes, pumpkins make great jack-o-lanterns, but did you also know that they make a great dinner? While you may see gigantic great-for-carving pumpkins at the market right now, you'll also notice the smaller and adorably plump pie or sugar pumpkins that are easier to work with. Use two of these small pumpkins (or one medium-sized) to prepare a fresh pumpkin risotto made with fresh pumpkin puree and diced pumpkin.

First, half the pumpkins and scoop out the seeds and the pulp. Be sure to save the seeds! They're great for topping the risotto right before you serve it, or for snacking while you cook.

Cut and peel the pumpkin. Reserve half for boiling down and pureeing and the other half for dicing into the risotto.

Pour pumpkin puree, diced pumpkin, rice, vegetable broth, minced onion, salt and pepper into a casserole dish and bake until almost all of the liquid has been sopped up by the rice. Remove from the oven and stir in sage, Parmesan cheese, ricotta cheese and a drizzle of olive oil.

Top with a sprinkle of toasted pumpkin seeds and a sprig of sage before serving.

Pumpkin Risotto Recipe
5 cups vegetable broth
2 cups arborio rice
2 cups of pumpkin, diced
1 1/2 cups pumpkin puree
1/2 medium yellow onion, minced
1/3 cup chopped sage
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese
1/2 cup ricotta cheese
2 tablespoons olive oil
Pumpkin seeds, toasted

Heat oven to 400 degrees F.

Remove seeds and pulp from one medium pie or sugar pumpkin then cut in half. Peel and dice half of the pumpkin. Peel, steam and puree the other half.

Combine broth, rice, pumpkin chunks, puree, and onion in a 3-quart baking dish, season with salt and pepper, and stir. Cover with aluminum foil and bake, stirring occasionally, until almost all liquid is absorbed by the rice, about 35 minutes.

Remove from oven, stir in remaining ingredients. Top with toasted pumpkin seeds before serving.

More Pumpkin Recipes on Cooking Channel:
More Pumpkin From Family & Friends
What's Gaby Cooking: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Bars
The Cultural Dish: Pumpkin Waffles
Cooking With Elise: Pumpkin Chip Scones
And Love It Too: Creamy Pumpkin Fruit Dip
Haute Apple Pie Girls: Pumpkin Bread Parfait
I Am Mommy: Pumpkin Pancakes
Dishin and Dishes: Maple Pumpkin Creme Brulee
Napa Farmhouse 1885: Pumpkin Pizza
Daydreamer Desserts: Pumpkin Fattigman

From My Corner of Saratoga: Baking Pie In The Pumpkin

Cooking Channel: Pumpkin Risotto
ZaikaZabardast: Pumpkin Jalebi
Mooshu Jenne: Pumpkin Nutella Bread

Big Girls Small Kitchen: Chocolate Chip Pumpkin Loaf

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Next Up

Meatless Monday: Rustic Fall Vegetable Soup

When it comes to homemade vs store-bought, homemade is always better. The questions is if it’s worth the time and effort. When it comes to soup, the answer is yes.

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