This pumpkin risotto is pure fall coziness – it is so comforting and decadent! This recipe is perfect for a date night at home, or really any chilly Autumn night – it is so creamy, both sweet and savory, and it feels like Autumn in a bowl.
I made this extra indulgent (which I would highly recommend) by drizzling a little brown butter sage sauce on top, and adding parmesan cheese and crumbled bacon bits, but if you want to make it a bit lighter, simply omit the browned butter sauce and cheese, and instead top with freshly chopped sage. The prep for this recipe is fairly simple, but the key to making perfect risotto is patience! You’ll need to stir the risotto frequently on the stove top but once you taste it you’ll be so happy you did!
3 Tablespoons olive oil
1 Small yellow onion, diced
2 Cloves garlic, diced
1 Cup arborio rice
1/2 Cup dry white wine, such as Pinot Grigio
4 1/2 Cups low sodium vegetable or chicken broth
1 Cup pumpkin puree (canned pumpkin puree works great, but you could roast and puree your own autumn squash as a substitute as well)
Pinch of nutmeg
1/2 Cup of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
Freshly cracked black pepper
3 Tablespoons unsalted butter
Fresh sage leaves
Crispy bacon or pancetta bits
Pour broth into a pot and bring to a simmer, keep on low heat.
Heat a large skillet over medium heat and add olive oil. Add the chopped onion and sauté for several minutes until soft and tender, but not brown. Add minced garlic and cook for another minute or so. Add the arborio rice to the skillet and stir to coat it with the olive oil, onions, and garlic. Add the white wine and simmer until the wine has almost completely evaporated while stirring often, about 3 minutes.
Add 1/2 cup of the simmering broth into the arborio rice and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 2 minutes. The heat should be on medium to medium-low – not too hot that it burns on the bottom. Continue cooking the rice by adding the broth by the 1/2 cup and stirring constantly. Be sure to allow each addition of the broth to absorb almost completely before adding the next. This process should take about 20 minutes, and the rice should be tender but still a bit firm to the bite and the whole mixture is creamy.
Remove from heat, stir in pumpkin puree, pinch of nutmeg, salt and pepper, and 1/2 cup of parmesan cheese and stir. To make the browned butter and crispy sage, add the butter to another skillet, along with a big handful of chopped sage leaves over medium heat until the butter is a pale golden color, stirring occasionally, about 3-4 minutes.
Serve with a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper, a drizzle of browned butter, crispy sage, more parmesan cheese and crispy bacon. Bon appetit!