here’s one thing to do with a pumpkin…

Make risotto. Roasted pumpkin, mushroom and fresh herb risotto to be specific. Sadly, I ended up with only a few pumpkins this year – nothing compared to what I thought I’d have. Some strange insect took over my pumpkin patch and that was the end of my plentiful pumpkins. I ended up with 5. Not very many when compared with what was growing. *sigh*  Oh, the ups and downs of growing your own…but in the end, what’s done is done and I intend to find out what those little buggers were and then do my best to prevent them next year! In the meantime, I’m taking advantage of the few pumpkins that managed to outwit those little creepy-crawlys and risotto made the list.

Risotto, I know is time consuming (I have a 2 yr. old, remember – time is precious, I know) -you have to stand at the stove, stirring – constantly – for up to 30 minutes, but the results are worth it. Pour yourself a glass of wine, a cup of tea, or if your like me, a straight up martini, put on some good music and stir away – sip ‘n stir… Put all those good vibes into the food and well, you’ll have nothing short of spectacular.

Here you go – Roasted Pumpkin, Mushroom and Fresh Herb Risotto;

First step is to roast the pumpkin. If you don’t have pumpkin, butternut squash is a superb substitute.

1 pie pumpkin or small-medium butternut squash;

Cut pumpkin in half, de-seed (separate seeds from pulp, salt, and roast – super yummy snack) and remove peel.

Cut into wedges and then into chunks, roughly one inch chunks (try to keep size uniform, to ensure they all cook equally).

Place into roasting pan or skillet, drizzle with olive oil, toss and coat, place into preheated 400 degree oven for roughly 30 minutes, or until soft (pierce with fork to test tenderness).

Meanwhile, get going on the risotto…by the time your done with the risotto, the pumpkin will be ready to add. By the way, I didn’t use all this pumpkin – only about 1-2 cups of it (roughly half the pumpkin) The rest I froze for another day. But add as much or as little as you’d like.

You’ll need;

12 oz Arborio Rice (1.2 cups)

4 cups heated stock (vegetable or chicken)

1 small onion, chopped

1/2 + a bit more tablespoon butter  (I use a full tablespoon)

1 cup sliced mushrooms

4 oz. dry white wine or 1/3 cup lemon juice

1-2 cups roasted pumpkin

1/8 – 1/4 teaspoon fresh or ground sage

small handful chopped parsley

1 good handful + a touch more, parmesan cheese/asiago, grated

In a medium-sized heavy bottomed pot, saute onion and mushroom in butter until softened and golden.

Add the rice and stir until well-coated and translucent. (this step is a quick one)

Add the wine (or lemon juice) and cook until evaporated. Taking care to continue stirring while wine is reducing/absorbed.

Stir in one cup of heated stock and simmer gently. Again, and most importantly, keep stirring while rice slowly absorbs stock. Once the stock has been absorbed, add another cup and continue to stir…continue doing this until all stock has been used (average 18-20 minutes) and absorbed.

Add sage, parsley, parmasan cheese and roasted pumpkin.

Salt and pepper to taste.

Top with a squeeze of lemon juice, if desired. (I just love lemon juice!)

Serve with a salad or sauteed greens and rustic bread – dinner is served!

enjoy