Pumpkin and Goat Cheese Risotto

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Is there anything better than a big pile of risotto? Well, probably…but it is so good. I think a lot of people think risotto is difficult to make because it does require a bit of attention, but if you can stir a pot, you can make risotto.

This risotto is one of my favorites because it combines sweetness of pumpkin with the saltiness of goat cheese and the crunch of crispy bacon. I am definitely someone who thinks there is such thing as pumpkin overload come October, but in this case, it is a really delightful combination. You could substitute butternut squash for the pumpkin if you’d like.

You can opt out of the bacon and use vegetable stock to make this vegetarian. This would be great in a smaller portion as an appetizer, or as a main course, served with something green. I made green beans with toasted almonds, but an arugula salad would be delicious too. So, I hope you give this one a try. Enjoy!


Adapted from Food Network

Prep: 20 minutes, Cook: 40 minutes, Total: 60 minutes

Makes 4 entree portions, 6-8 appetizer portions

  • 4 cups low-sodium chicken broth (vegetable stock for vegetarian)
  • 1 cup canned pure pumpkin (or canned butternut squash)
  • 4-6 slices applewood smoked bacon, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons butter (or olive oil)
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1 1/2 cups Arborio rice
  • 2/3 cup dry white wine (I used Sauvignon Blanc)
  • 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg
  • 4-6 oz goat cheese

Whisk together the broth and the pumpkin in a medium saucepan and simmer over medium heat. Cover and reduce the heat to low to keep warm.

Meanwhile, cook the bacon in a skillet over medium-high heat until brown and crisp, or you can cook in a 425 degree oven for 20-25 minutes. Transfer to a paper towel with a slotted spoon to drain.

Melt the butter in a heavy large saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and 1 teaspoon of the salt. Cook until almost tender, 2 to 3 minutes. Add the rice and stir for a minute or two. Add the wine and simmer, stirring constantly, until completely absorbed.

Then, start adding the broth. Add 1/2 cup and stir until almost completely absorbed, about 1 minute. Continue adding the broth 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and allowing each addition to absorb before adding the next.

The mixture will begin to get creamy, and the rice will become tender. Cook for 20-25 minutes, and continue adding broth until the rice stops absorbing it.

Finally, mix in the Parmesan, the remaining salt, pepper and nutmeg. Remove from the heat and add more salt to taste.

Garnish with the bacon, goat cheese and some parsley if you’re feeling fancy.

Tip: If the risotto sits too long and becomes thick, you can add 1/4-1/2 cup of the hot broth, if you have some left, or hot water if you’ve run out.


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