Risotto di Zucca (Pumpkin Risotto)



by Chef Laura Frankel, LaurasKosherKitchen.com

I am usually a purist when it comes to regional cuisine and would never think to change the integrity of another country’s dishes to suit my needs. That being said, Pumpkin Risotto is an exception to my ideal. This is my go–to Autumnal side dish.

I do not have a problem adding pureed pumpkin and a very generous “glug” of extra virgin olive oil to the final risotto instead of butter and cheese. Call me a hypocrite, but it works for me! The sweet and fruity pumpkin with the decadent amount of evoo makes the dish and further allows me to eat it with my favorite Osso Buco, short ribs or other autumnal treats. I garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, fried sage and a lazy drizzle of balsamic reduction. Ah, sweet, sweet bliss!


2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
2 medium shallots, minced finely
3 cloves garlic, minced finely
2 cups Risotto rice
1 cup dry white wine
7 cups vegetable stock
1 cup pumpkin puree, canned or homemade
1/4 cup best quality extra virgin olive oil 
Kosher salt and freshly cracked pepper


Heat the stock to a simmer and continue simmering while cooking the rice.

Place a medium saucepan over medium heat. Add the oil, shallot and garlic and sweat the vegetables until they are translucent and very soft (about 5 minutes). Add the rice and stir to coat the grains with the oil. The rice will take on opaque sheen after 2 minutes.

Add the wine and increase the heat to medium high. Stir constantly until the wine has been absorbed. Once the wine has been absorbed, add one cup of hot stock and stir until completely absorbed. Continue adding stock and cooking until the rice is very creamy and flowing, you may not need all of the stock.

Remove the risotto from the heat and add the pumpkin puree and olive oil. Return the pan to the heat and vigorously stir the risotto trying to get a little air worked into to the mix (this makes the risotto creamier) until completely combined and the pumpkin puree is hot. Salt and pepper to taste.

Garnish with toasted pumpkin seeds, pomegranate seeds, balsamic reduction, fried sage leaves.

For a fun variation I garnish with spiced apples and caramelized onions and sliced roasted turkey.


Yield: 6 servings

Recipes: Side Dishes, Rice, Risotto, Pumpkin, Parve, Kosher

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Side Dishes