Pumpkin Risotto with Carolina Gold Rice

Consider the pumpkin. We love using it to bake pie, cake, cookies, and bread, but pigeonholing pumpkin for dessert alone denies us all the savory ways to use autumn’s favorite gourd. Take a cue from this pumpkin risotto, and treat the vegetable the same way as butternut and acorn squash—roast, sauté, and mash it, or turn it into soup. Its flavor comes through more strongly than butternut squash and holds up well to sweet, savory, and spicy preparations.
 
Though a crowd favorite in Italian cuisine, this pumpkin risotto gives a nod to the South by using Carolina Gold Rice. The rice helps retain the dish’s texture and keeps the risotto from getting too porridge-like. You could make it even more Southern by substituting country ham for speck.

Ingredients

Pumpkin

Risotto

Carolina Gold Rice
  • 5-6 cups chicken stock
  • 1 onion, diced
  • 1 tablespoon butter
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil 
  • 3 garlic cloves, minced
  • 4 speck (or country ham), diced (TLP recommends Pine Street Market Smoked Speck)
  • 2 cups Carolina Gold Aromatic Rice
  • ½ cup white wine
  • 4 cups diced, roasted pumpkin
  • 1 tablespoon fresh sage, chiffonade
  • 3 tablespoons parsley, chopped
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • Toasted pumpkin seeds for garnish

 

Directions

Roast the pumpkin:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Cut pumpkin in half and scoop out seeds. (Optionally, rinse and reserve seeds for toasting later.) Cut one pumpkin half in half again; set aside ¾ of pumpkin for another use.
  2. Peel remaining ¼, then clean flesh by scraping or cutting away any stringy parts. Cut portion down to a manageable size, then dice into ½ inch squares—you should have about 4 cups.
  3. Gently toss pieces with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Roast pumpkin for 18 to 22 minutes. Set aside.

Make the risotto:

  1. In a small pot, heat chicken stock.
  2. In a large skillet or dutch oven over medium heat, sauté onions and a pinch of salt in butter and oil until translucent, about 10 minutes.
  3. Add garlic, ham, and rice, stirring until rice is coated in oil. Reduce heat to medium-low.
  4. Cover rice with hot chicken stock. Bring to a boil, stirring frequently. As stock absorbs add more, stirring frequently.
  5. When rice is al dente, add wine, any remaining stock, roasted pumpkin, sage, and parsley. Adjust seasoning. Cook another 3 minutes, then serve garnished with toasted pumpkin seeds.

From Ricely Yours.

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