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RECIPE: Pumpkin and sage risotto
Big thanks to Tessa Jonson of Flex Your Food for another fantastic seasonal recipe...yum.
No matter the temperature, to me, back to school time means that it's officially autumn! There is no produce more synonymous with fall than massive, bright orange pumpkins and this risotto just screams autumn flavours. The browned butter gives a nice depth of flavour and the sage marries perfectly with the pumpkin. I also loved the crispy sage on top and crumbled it over the rice. Num.
Prep time: 15 minutes
Cooking time: 25 minutes
2 tbl butter
1 onion, chopped
250 g pumpkin, diced
12 fresh sage leaves, finely chopped
170 g arborio rice
1 pint/570 mL vegetable or chicken stock, preferably homemade
4 tbl grated Parmesan
salt and pepper
Crispy Sage Ingredients:
2 tbl sunflower oil
12 fresh sage leaves
Before you begin, get your stock on another burner over medium-low heat. It needs to stay hot during the whole process.
Heat a large saucepan over medium-low heat and add the butter. Let the butter melt and slowly brown, but stay close to ensure it doesn’t burn.
Once the butter has reached a nice brown color and a nutty aroma, add the onions. Let them fry for a minute or two, then add the pumpkin and sage.
Let them cook for a few minutes to soften, then add the rice. Give it a few good stirs to coat the rice in butter. (After hearing that stirring in the same direction produces a better risotto, I gave it a go. I didn’t notice a huge difference, but it was a fun challenge and I was very happy with the results!)
Now, begin cooking the rice by adding the hot stock one ladleful at a time. Stir constantly, allowing the stock to be absorbed completely before ladling in another. Continue in this way until the rice is a beautiful al dente with a creamy texture. You might not need all of the stock (though I did).
Take the risotto off the heat and stir in the Parmesan, salt, and freshly ground pepper, keeping in mind the saltiness of the cheese. Cover it and let it rest for a few minutes while you prepare the crispy sage.
Heat the oil over medium-high heat. Once it is hot, add the sage leaves and fry until crispy–they should take less than 30 seconds. Let them cool and drain on a paper towel.
Serve the risotto in warm bowls, topped with a few crispy sage leaves. Gorgeous darling.
Butternut squash would be a lovely alternative to pumpkin. Although hearty on it’s own, chopped chicken or turkey would work really well with these flavours. Unless you have a very small pumpkin, you won’t use it all so make a purée that you can use in place of canned purée. It gives you the perfect excuse to whip up a tasty pumpkin pie!