Yes my friends, I made my infamous, world renowned Pumpkin Risotto last night for dinner! Glory be they name!
Just like regular risotto, the pumpkin risotto is really easy. And if you follow a straight up risotto recipe, you can just add some par-cooked pumpkin and be done with it. Yum.
But there are some secrets...especially this time that I think really elevated this batch of pumpkin risotto to truly sublime. Perhaps the best I've made...yes, I'm admitting it.
After you clean up the pumpkin and cut it, I dropped the diced pieces into the simmering broth, along with two large sage leaves and some onion. As an after thought, I dropped a few whole cloves into the broth. Letting this all simmer together is where this risotto really comes together. Instead of simmering the pumpkin in water and pouring that down the drain, the pumpkin gets some flavor from the mild broth mixture and it releases some of it's flavor to the broth. When you scoop out the pumpkin, toss the onion, sage and cloves. You really want the pumpkin to be "just" tender, it will cook for about another minute towards the end of cooking.
I took a suggestion I had the last time I made this and added some chopped sage. Perfect. Really just wonderful. Sage can be a very strong dominate flavor, so don't do too much. I had two large leaves, chopped up. I tasted the risotto before I added the chopped sage and you could really pick up the tiny bit of clove I had added to the broth. Once the sage was added, the clove enhancement was covered by the sage. This time I had three cloves...I'll probably double that.
As a final bit of flourish, I garnished the risotto with some freshly roasted pumpkin seeds. The salty, crunchy texture was a great extra touch. I LOVE Autumn!