1. Risotto Rice
- Risotto needs to be made with risotto rice (Arborio rice) because it’s extra starchy and this is what makes risotto beautifully creamy without the use of cream.
- Use any fresh pumpkin (any type but not Jack-O-Latern carving ones) OR butternut squash (we call it butternut pumpkin in Australia).
Fresh trumps canned in terms of flavour. However, this can be made with canned pumpkin- use 1.5 cans (even 1 can is enough), and stir it in when it comes out of the oven.
goes very well with pumpkin, but it is a very subtle flavour in this dish so don't worry if you don't have it. If you have parsley, thyme or oregano, these will be a good substitute.
The crispy sage adds great texture and a "wow" factor. I usually only do this for company.
- Salt - It is important to remember to season at the very end and not at the beginning as you never really know how strong the salt from the stock/broth is once absorbed into the rice.
- Leftover Brown Butter - It's unlikely you'll use it all. But you can't use less otherwise it's too hard to crisp the sage leaves (I tried). Drizzle leftovers on almost any protein, pasta, omelettes, onto soups. Just a tiny drizzle adds an extra element of luxuriousness to anything!
- Servings: Even though there is only 1 1/2 cups of rice, this makes a lot (because of the 3 cups of pumpkin). It will feed 4 hungry people or 6 normal servings.
- Baking time - if you are using a heavy cast iron casserole pot with a lid, then the cook time should be 25 minutes because it retains heat so well. If you are using a lighter weight pot covered with foil, then it might take closer to 35 to 40 minutes.
- Add protein: Turn this into a complete meal by adding chicken and spinach. Chop chicken, season with salt and pepper (add herbs if you want too). Add the chicken when the onion is translucent and cook until white (still raw inside). Then follow the directions of the recipe. When you stir the butter and parmesan into the cooked risotto, add the spinach as well - you can add as much spinach as you want, but 3 packed cups is ideal. The residual heat from the risotto will wilt it quickly. You may need to add a splash of water to loosen it up a bit.
- Veganise it by omitting the parmesan (check the salt level by taste) and using vegetable rather than chicken stock.
5. Leftovers -
Risotto doesn't keep well, it thickens. But leftovers make brilliant Arancini Rice Balls! Here's a baked one
, here's a fried one
per serving, assuming 1 tsp of brown butter, excludes parmesan garnish and crispy sage (because I don't know how to calculate nutrition for that).
Originally published 2014. Post completely rewritten, new photos, new recipe video. Recipe amended very slightly to add crispy sage leaves and tidy up directions.
Baked Creamy Pumpkin Risotto
Amount Per Serving (361 g)
Calories from Fat 135
% Daily Value*
Total Fat 15g
Saturated Fat 9g
Total Carbohydrates 60g
Dietary Fiber 2g
* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2000 calorie diet.