Fall is one of those transitional seasons…one I look forward to because the weather is warm but not excruciating, and the proximity of the holidays can be felt when I step outside into the crisp morning air or walk through our local scene. Pumpkins abound during this season and can be seen in decor, crafting, and an amazing array of sweet and savory dishes. We love all-things pumpkin here in our home, so this week’s recipe, perfectly timed for the Fall season, is a simple yet hearty pumpkin risotto with fresh sage and romano cheese.
I first tasted authentic risotto during my travels to Italy over 10 years ago, and it’s a dish I often prefer over rice and pasta because of how creative I can get when it comes to flavors and textures. With origins in Northern Italy, risotto is a short grain rice cooked with butter, wine, and onions in a broth until creamy.
For this Pumpkin Risotto recipe, I used shallots in place of onions, cooked the risotto in white wine and vegetable broth, added pumpkin and shaved romano cheese for a creamy finish and topped the dish with pepitas. Everything you’ll need for this recipe can be found at your local Walmart.
Here is my recipe for Pumpkin Risotto!
- 1 T olive oil
- 2 shallots diced
- 2 cloves of garlic minced
- 15-20 fresh sage leaves finely chopped
- 1 cup arborio rice
- 1 T butter
- 1/4 cup white wine
- 3 1/2 cups no sodium vegetable broth warmed
- 1 cup canned pumpkin
- 1/2 cup shaved Romano cheese
- salt and pepper to taste
In a large pan over medium heat, sauté shallots and garlic in olive oil until shallots are soft and translucent (do not brown)
Add fresh sage leaves and sauté an additional 2 minutes
Add arborio rice, butter, salt and pepper and stir until rice is coated well
Add wine and allow to cook until wine has evaporated
Add vegetable broth 1 cup at a time and allow to simmer until the liquid has been absorbed by the rice
Repeat with remaining broth (total cook time is approximately 20 minutes) until rice is al dente
Remove from heat and stir in pumpkin and Romano cheese
Top with pepitas and serve immediately
Tip: Sauté an additional handful of fresh sage with olive oil until crisp. Top the risotto with crispy sage leaves.
One of the things I love about risotto is that you can really adapt it to include the flavors you love. With this particular recipe, you could easily substitute your favorite cheese (goat would be amazing in this dish), add in a protein (scallops anyone?), and include your favorite fresh herbs like basil. If you don’t have pepitas, pine nuts would compliment this dish beautifully. You can also add in spinach or kale or use butternut squash in place of pumpkin.
Overall, this was a delightful, hearty, warm dish perfect for the Fall season. For additional seasonal recipes, check out these ideas from my fellow Walmart Moms: