Pumpkin risotto (risotto di zucca) is a traditional dish of Italian cuisine, very popular in Italy during fall season. It’s typical of the regions of northern Italy, where both rice and delicious pumpkins are produced. In Italy pumpkin risotto is a very simple and ancient dish of the peasant tradition.
We have used the Mantuan pumpkin, a very sweet and creamy variety, used even for Pumpkin Ravioli, Pumpkin Cream Soup and Pumpkin Gnocchi. We recommend using butternut squash as a variant, very sweet with a nutty flavor, great for creating fabulous pumpkin recipes. In Italy the risotto is traditionally made with Arborio or Carnaroli rice, two rice varieties that make the risotto creamier.
Creamy, fragrant, with a delicate but at the same time exquisite flavor, risotto with pumpkin is that confort food that is ready in 30 minutes and makes the whole family happy! So now let’s start with the recipe.
Pumpkin Risotto Recipe
- Prep Time: 15 Min
- Cook Time: 30 Min
- Yelds: 4/6
- 450 g (16 oz) of pumpkin pulp (butternut squash)
- 1 medium onion
- 1.5 liters of vegetable stock
- 400 g (14 oz) of Carnaroli or Arborio rice
- 80 g (3 oz) of unsalted butter
- 120 g (4,5 oz) grated Parmigiano cheese
- 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil
- a pinch of black pepper (optional)
- a pinch of salt
How to Make Pumpkin Risotto: Directions
Step 1) – First start with the pumpkin so remove the seeds and skin and cut it into small pieces.
Step 2) – Then cut the onion and place it in a stainless steel pan with the oil and half the butter. Let it sautè over low heat for about 5 minutes.
Step 3) – Now add the pieces of pumpkin and a little of hot vegetable stock.
Step 4) – Let cook covered with the lid for about 10 minutes until the pumpkin starts to become soft. When the pumpkin has absorbed almost all of the broth and you see that the onion and pumpkin have become a cream, add the rice.
Step 5) – Mix well and then add the hot vegetable stock, very little at a time stirring constantly. Then let it cook; it will take about 15 minutes. Add a little fine salt according to your taste.
Step 6) – At the end turn off the heat and add the Parmigiano cheese and the remaining butter. Mix to make the pumpkin risotto creamy. If you like, add some grated black pepper. Serve pumpkin risotto immediately hot.
Pumpkin Risotto Recipe: 3 Variants
We showed you how to make risotto with squash, a typical vegetable of the fall season which, in this time of the year, colors our tables in the form of a soup or just by flavoring risottos and side dishes. In addition to the classic and very easy recipe that we have showed you, there are some 3 delicious variants that you must try!
Pumpkin risotto with crispy bacon
Just cut the bacon into thin strips and fry them in a frying pan for a few minutes. When the risotto is ready, sprinkle them on top and serve.
Pumpkin and sausage risotto
Remove the sausage from its casing and crumble it coarsely with your hands, then brown it in the risotto pan together with the chopped onion; add the rice and blend with a bit of white wine. Add the pumpkin pulp and continue as we have explained, gradually pouring a ladle of hot broth till the rice is cooked.
Pumpkin and porcini risotto
Try the version with porcini, really perfect for the fall season. So sautè the pumpkin pulp with the onions in a little oil and then reduce to cream with an immersion blender; cook the rice in a separate pan with porcini and halfway through cooking add the sweet pumpkin cream. You will discover a tasty fragrant and incredibly soft dish.
How to Serve Pumpkin Risotto
Pumpkin risotto can be served with your favorite cheese: we have suggested grated Parmigiano, but you can also use taleggio, mascarpone or gorgonzola for a stronger taste. The result will always be a success, because you will get an incredibly creamy and velvety texture.
If you like spicy flavors, pumpkin risotto goes very well even with sweet paprika that you can sprinkle on hot risotto before serving.
Finally, rosemary is also often paired with dishes with pumpkin and therefore also with risotto: you can add a sprig of rosemary while the pumpkin is cooking and remove it before adding the rice.
Keep the pumpkin risotto, closed in an airtight container suitable for food and placed in the refrigerator, for 1-2 days maximum.