I don’t love the cold, but I DO love fall.  I love the colors and flavors of fall.  I love football, Halloween & Thanksgiving.  There’s also something to be said about the spirit of fall… for me, it reminds me of being a Pom Pon Girl in high school- dance competitions, senior nights & kick lines.

Favorite fall foods: pumpkin, butternut squash, acorn squash, spaghetti squash… okay so a lot of squashes.  But they’re DELICIOUS!!

Our inspiration: Believe it or not, it came from an All You Magazine.  When I saw it I immediately said … I MUST make that.  So….. we did.  Plus, it gave us an excuse to go up to Jone’s Tree Farm to get mini pumpkins.  We may or may not have stopped in for a wine tasting.

Pumpkin Risotto

Ingredients:

  • 4 miniature pumpkins (preferably Jack-Be-Little; 3 1/2 to 4 inches in diameter)
  •  to 6 cups chicken broth
  • 5 tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 onion, finely chopped (2/3 cup)
  • 2 cups Arborio rice
  • 10 ounces fresh pumpkin, peeled, cored and cut into 1/2-inch dice (2 cups)
  • 1/8 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1 cup canned pumpkin
  • 2 tablespoons maple syrup
  • 3/4 cup grated Parmesan
  • 1 tablespoon minced fresh sage
  • 2 teaspoons kosher salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon black pepper

Directions:

To roast miniature pumpkins…

Preheat oven to 350°F.

Roast whole miniature pumpkins in a small roasting pan with 1/2-inch water, tightly covered with foil, until very tender, 45 to 50 minutes. Cool slightly. Cut out tops and reserve, then scoop out seeds and put seeds aside. Discard water from roasting pan, then return pumpkin shells to pan and keep warm, covered with foil.  Thoroughly wash & dry the pumpkin seeds.  Lay the seeds out evenly on a baking pan and season with a little salt, pepper & cayenne pepper (or paprika).  Toast in oven until golden brown. Let cool.

To make the Pumpkin Risotto…

  • Heat chicken broth in a saucepan and keep warm.
  • In a large saucepan, heat 3 Tbsp. butter over medium heat. Add onion and cook until translucent, 3 to 4 minutes. Add rice, fresh pumpkin and nutmeg. Stir for about a minute, making sure all rice is coated in butter. Add 1cup chicken broth, stirring well; reduce heat to low. Once broth is incorporated, add 1/2 cup more broth, stirring constantly. Continue to add broth in 1/2-cup increments as rice absorbs liquid, until rice is cooked. Rice will take about 25 minutes to cook and should be creamy but al dente when done.
  • In last few minutes of cooking, stir in canned pumpkin and maple syrup.
  • Remove risotto from heat and stir in remaining 2 Tbsp. butter, Parmesan, sage, salt and pepper. Let rest a few minutes before serving.

To finalize this deliciousness, delicately scoop the risotto into the pumpkins and top with toasted pumpkin seeds.  Now your dish is ready to be served.

Enjoy!