I’m not a huge fan of pumpkin – I don’t dislike it – I’m just not obsessed with the taste. I don’t PSL anything- I wouldn’t knock it out of your hands – I just wouldn’t go out of my way to order it. My friend Pat (owner and creative genius behind Salvaged Soul, Perry Iowa) LOVES pumpkin. She offered me a couple bags of her frozen pumpkin puree – and honestly I didn’t know what to do with it. But I love that it’s been locally grown and lovingly roasted and pureed. But everytime I open my freezer – there they are.
In preparation for the weirdest Thanksgiving EVER (my favorite holiday BTW), I thought I would give this little bag of pumpkin puree a try.
I’m a huge fan of risotto, big surprise, I know, it’s Italian, and well, we’ve been over my love of all things Italian. Risotto is not scary – and I’m not sure who told you it was hard to make, but if you can stir, you can make risotto. It’s not quick, but so worth it.
- Don’t add your liquids all at once. If you add the liquid all at the same time instead of little by little you’re pretty much just boiling rice. Letting the liquid absorb a cup at a time encourages the rice to release it’s starch so you get that amazing creaminess.
- Stir just enough, but don’t overstir. Making risotto should not make you sweat. If you stir too much, the risotto will get over starchy. If you don’t stir enough, it could burn and stick to the bottom of the pan. Stir often, but don’t over do it.
- Don’t overcook your risotto! Your finished risotto should still have a bit of bite to it, like pasta. Overcooking the risotto will give you a sticky mashed potatoes like consistency – and well, don’t do it.
- 3 TBLS brown butter
- 1/2 small onion grated
- 3 garlic cloves, pressed
- 1 tsp ground sage
- 1 c of Arborio rice (Risotto Rice)
- 1 1/2 c Amber Ale (yes, beer)
- 2 c chicken or vegetable stock
- 1 cup pumpkin puree
- 1 cup pecorino toscano cheese or parmesan cheese
- 1/8 tsp nutmeg
- 1/8 tsp cinnamon
- pinch of red pepper
- Brown the butter in a medium sauce pan over medium low heat by cooking the butter until it turns a light golden brown. Stir regularly. Once the butter browns, add the grated onion, garlic and ground sage.
- Add salt and pepper and turn the heat up to medium. Cook until the onions start to soften- about 2 minutes.
- Add 1 cup of Arborio rice directly to the pot. Toast the rice for about 3 minutes, stirring to coat it in the butter and sauteed onions.
- Stir in a half cup of the beer and a half cup of vegetable stock, bring the mixture to a slow simmer, stirring regularly. The rice will absorb the liquid. Repeat this process until all the liquid is used up and the rice is tender but slightly firm. Most risotto calls for white wine, there is something about the nuttyness of an Amber Ale and spices that are so nice in this dish..
- Stir in the pumpkin puree, pecorino cheese, nutmeg, cinnamon, and pinch of red pepper flakes.
- Serve hot and garnish with more cheese