Risotto is a stick-to-your-bones meal and one that can be done in hundreds of different ways.
This recipe is a nice fall option with very few ingredients, but the pumpkin AND pumpkin seeds takes this one over the top. The pumpkin seeds (pepitas) are AMAZING: toasty and crunchy and cooked up this way in butter! Yup…
1 stick of unsalted butter
3 T pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
1/4 -1/2 t ground chili
4 cups vegetable or chicken stock
1 large onion, finely chopped
4 cups fresh pumpkin or butternut squash, peeled and finely diced
1 1/2 cups risotto rice
3 T chopped fresh mint
1 1/2 cups frozen peas, cooked and drained
3/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
sea salt and freshly ground black pepper
- Melt the butter in a saucepan until foaming and add the pumpkin seeds. Stir over medium heat until the seeds begin to brown, then stir in the chili, salt and pepper. Remove from the heat and cover to keep the seeds warm.
- Put the stock in a saucepan and keep at a gentle simmer. Melt the remaining butter in a large, heavy saucepan and add the onion. Cook Gently for 10 minutes until soft and translucent. Add the pumpkin or squash and cook, stirring constantly, over the heat for 15 minutes until it begins to soften and disintegrate. Mash the pumpkin in the pan with a potato masher. Stir in the rice to coat with the butter and mashed pumpkin. Cook for a couple of minutes to toast the rice.
- Begin adding the stock, a large ladleful at a time, stirring gently until each ladle has almost been absorbed by the rice. The risotto should be kept at a bare simmer throughout cooking, so don’t let the rice dry out- add more stock as necessary. Continue until the rice is tender and creamy, but the grains still firm. (This should take 15-20 minutes depending on the type of rice used.)
- Taste and season well with salt and pepper and stir in the mint, peas and all the Parmesan. Cover and let rest for a couple of minutes so the risotto can relax, then serve immediately, sprinkled with the pumpkin seeds.