I used olive oil in place of butter when cooking the risotto, along with subbing chopped shallot for leeks. I also added fresh thyme and half-and-half just before dishing the risotto up, and I added pecans to the topping to add a nutty flavor and a bit more protein. If you're intimidated by making risotto...don't be! It's not hard at all...it just takes patience to stand at the stove and stir the entire time it cooks. Do what I do: pour a glass of wine and put on some great music. I personally find that Miles Davis' Kind of Blue is great risotto-making music! Let me show you how easy it is...
Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon, Goat Cheese and Pecans
adapted from Giada de Laurentiis
- 2 tbs. olive oil
- 1 large shallot, chopped
- 1 cup arborio or carnaroli rice
- 1/3 cup dry white wine (I used Chardonnay)
- 4 cups chicken broth
- 1 cup canned pumpkin puree
- 2 tbs butter
- 1-2 tsp. fresh thyme leaves
- 1/3 cup half-and-half
- Generous pinch of nutmeg
- Salt and pepper to taste
For the topping:
- 3 slices bacon, cooked and crumbled
- 3/4 cup crumbled soft goat cheese
- 1/2 cup chopped pecans
Step 2: Combine the chicken broth and pumpkin in a large measuring cup. Heat in the microwave until warm, whisking to incorporate the pumpkin into the broth. Add 1/2 cup of the pumpkin-broth mixture to the rice in the saucepan. Cook, stirring constantly, until the broth is almost completely absorbed by the rice. Repeat in 1/2-cup increments, until the rice is creamy and cooked. This will take 20-25 minutes total. You may not need all of the broth mixture...I used 3 cups for this batch of risotto.
Step 3: When the risotto is cooked, it will look creamy and the rice should be al dente. Add the butter, half-and-half, fresh thyme, nutmeg, and salt & pepper. Stir to combine until the butter melts, then place the risotto in a large serving bowl.
Step 4: Top the risotto with the bacon, goat cheese and pecans. Just before serving, stir the topping ingredients into the risotto...it makes for a nice presentation! Spoon the risotto into serving bowls. A nice green salad with a tart vinaigrette is a nice side to this rich dish.
I'm in love with this dish! It's comforting, yet elegant...creamy, but not overly heavy. The pumpkin gives the risotto a sweet earthy background flavor, and the color is gorgeous! Add in the pockets of creamy goat cheese, smoky bacon and crunchy nuts...and you've got a winner of a dish. I served it as a side the first evening, and the leftovers reheated perfectly the next night with some pulled pork on top. Bottom line: this one's a winner, folks!
Speaking of winners...make sure to check out all of the great recipes that this week's #SundaySupper contributors are sharing. They're using lots of great squash varieties to make main dishes, side dishes and desserts. With Thanksgiving just around the corner, you're sure to find some ideas for you menu this year!
Breakfasts and Breads
- Maple Butternut Squash Donuts from Mess Makes Food
- Pumpkin Sweet Rolls from Basic N Delicious
- Vegan Pumpkin Scones with Maple Nutmeg Icing from Killer Bunnies, Inc
- Butternut Squash and Couscous Patties-Indian Inspired from Soni's Food
- Pumpkin Hummus with Spiced Lamb from girlichef
- Quick Pumpkin Butter from Shockingly Delicious
- Black Bean and Butternut Squash Chili from Supper for a Steal
- Black Bean Pumpkin Soup from What Smells So Good?
- Butternut Squash and Bacon Grilled Cheese from Ruffles & Truffles
- Butternut Squash Soup from That Skinny Chick Can Bake
- Hearty Quinoa Chicken Stew with Butternut Squash from Citronlimette
- Roasted Buttercup Squash and Black Bean Soup (Dairy free) from The Not So Cheesy Kitchen
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Vegetable Soup from Kudos Kitchen By Renee
- Roasted Squash and Mexican Black Bean Salad from Peanut Butter and Peppers
- Roasted Squash and Sesame Noodle Salad from Jane's Adventures in Dinner
- Butternut Squash and Spinach Quesadillas from The Dinner-Mom
- Butternut Squash Gnocchi with Balsamic Brown Butter from Crazy Foodie Stunts
- Butternut Squash Lasagna from Hip Foodie Mom
- Butternut Squash-Sage Cream Sauce with Sausage Spaghetti from Daily Dish Recipes
- Carnival Squash with Maple Sausage Stuffing from Cindy's Recipes and Writings
- Chorizo-Stuffed Acorn Squash from Small Wallet Big Appetite
- Butternut Squash with Spicy Wild Rice and Queso Fresco from Vintage Kitchen Notes
- Pumpkin Alfredo from Hezzi-D's Books and Cooks
- Pumpkin Enchiladas from La Cocina de Leslie
- Pumpkin Risotto with Bacon, Goat Cheese, and Pecans from The Weekend Gourmet
- Roasted Butternut Squash and Brussels Sprout Pizza from Curious Cuisiniere
- Sausage and Apple Stuffed Acorn Squash from The Messy Baker
- Spaghetti Squash in a Creamy Sausage Sauce from Cookin' Mimi
- Spaghetti Squash Shrimp Scampi from Pescetarian Journal
- Acorn Squash with Cinnamon and Cranberries from Noshing With The Nolands
- Butternut Squash and Apple Crumble from The Wimpy Vegetarian
- Butternut Squash Gratin with Sage Pesto & Gorgonzola from Cupcakes & Kale Chips
- Chorizo and Craisin Stuffed Acorn Squash from Family Foodie
- Parmesan-Roasted Acorn Squash from The Urban Mrs
- Pumpkin Macaroni and Cheese from Big Bear's Wife
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Balsamic Vinegar Honey Butter from Food Lust People Love
- Roasted Butternut Squash with Wilted Kale, Mushrooms and Garlic from Take a Bite Out of Boca
- Skillet Buttercup Squash with Bacon from Magnolia Days
- Slow Cooker Squash and Apples from Mama's Blissful Bites
- Sweet N Spicy Baked Chipotle Butternut Squash Fries from Sue's Nutrition Buzz
- Twice Baked Pumpkin Stuffed Sweet Potatoes from Bobbi's Kozy Kitchen
- Butternut Squash Cupcakes with Browned Butter Frosting from Treats & Trinkets
- Pumpkin Pie Crumb Bars from Pies and Plots
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