Risotto alla zucca (Pumpkin Risotto…sort of)

Risotto. Just the name itself sounds fancy and elegant. Something that you might order at a nice restaurant, but not usually something you would make at home. I say forget that! Why not make it for yourself in your own kitchen. 


I think one of the main reasons people tend not to make it at home is they believe it is hard to make, which its not. It does take time and patience though. Risotto is normally cooked in broth to create a creamy texture. Risotto is made with a short grain rice, typically Arborio is the most commonly used variety. 

The great thing about risotto is that you can dress it up in many ways. I decided to make my own version of  Risotto alla zucca or Risotto with pumpkin. Typically pumpkin, cinnamon or nutmeg and grated white cheese are combined for this dish but I did not have pumpkin and can not eat cheese so instead used butternut squash and just left out the cheese altogether. 

I also paired the risotto with some balsamic baked portobello mushrooms, but you could have the dish on its own or choose some other protein to go with the risotto. Perfectly cooked risotto is suppose to be creamy but also chewy which is why you cook it only to al dente. It also is a dish that should be eaten right away as it continues to cook and can become dry if left to sit out too long. 

I hope that this dish will bring some elegance to your day and joy to your taste buds. 

Risotto alla zucca
Prep time: 
Cook time: 
Total time: 
Serves: 4 Servings
  • 1 Onion, chopped
  • 2 Cloves garlic, minced
  • 4 Tbsp butter, halved
  • 1 Cup arborio rice
  • 3-4 Cups broth plus ½ cup broth
  • 1 Medium butternut squash
  • 2 Tbsp olive oil, halved
  • 2 Portobello mushrooms, sliced
  • 2 Tbsp balsamic vinegar
  • Salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
  2. Cut squash lengthwise and scoop out seeds (save for roasting later on). Drizzle olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Place on baking sheet and roast for 30 minutes, or until flesh is easy to scrap through. Take out of oven and let it cool down.
  3. In the meantime place sliced mushrooms, 1 tbsp olive oil and balsamic vinegar in baking dish and bake in oven for 15 to 20 minutes. The mushrooms take about the same time to cook as the risotto does.
  4. Once cooled, puree butternut squash with ½ cup broth until it is a medium-thick liquid. Take out 1 cup of puree and set to side, store the rest of the puree in a container for use in other recipes.
  5. Heat up 2 tbsp butter on medium-high, add onions and garlic and cook until onions are translucent. Add rice and stir to coat all grains. About 2 to 3 minutes.
  6. Lower heat to medium and add 1 cup of broth. Continuously stir until liquid is pretty much gone. Add another cup of broth and repeat this process for about 15 to 20 minutes until rice becomes creamy.
  7. Add in 1 cup of pureed butternut squash and rest of butter and stir, let simmer for 5 minutes and serve immediately with the mushrooms and balsamic dressing.


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