Velvety Risotto

I think Big Guy was a little scared of dinner last night.  Pumpkin Risotto?  But it turned out better than expected.  In fact, Big Guy proclaimed, “You can’t even taste the pumpkin?  Can I have more?”  And then he proceeded to take the leftovers for lunch.  Pumpkin risotto isn’t so girly, now is it?

velvety risotto

velvety risotto

The recipe does take a little time – lots of stirring – but it’s worth the effort.  I made a few changes (per usual).  Instead of pancetta, I used two slices of bacon.  While the bacon was sizzling away, I put the broth plus water in a saucepan and let that simmer until needed.  Once the bacon is crisp, add in the onions, garlic (I used 4 cloves, grated) and shiitake mushrooms (you can see crimini necessary).  Once that’s softened up, add in the rice (I didn’t use any sage).  After about a minute, you’ll start adding the liquid.  First the wine and then the broth.  You add the liquid in gradually, stirring until absorbed until almost all the broth is gone.  This is when you need patience.  Or a large glass of wine to distract you (that’s what I was missing!).  Once all the liquid is absorbed, remove from heat.  Add in the pumpkin (don’t be scared!), cream cheese (instead of mascarpone), green onions (instead of the chives) and salt.  At this point, if more liquid is needed, add in some of the reserved broth.

Serve with a a sprinkling of pine nuts.

so many flavors

so many flavors

All of my substitutions worked amazingly!  The pumpkin and cream cheese added even more creaminess to the risotto.  I wish I would have used chives instead of green onions – they added the slightest amount of “grit” in one or two bites that I didn’t enjoy.  I loved the addition of pine nuts on top.  I literally couldn’t get over how velvety this dish was.

Risotto perfection!  And I’m pretty sure that the bacon, onion, garlic and cream cheese made this man-friendly.


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