Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Pumpkin Risotto

Risotto is the ultimate comfort food. Nothing is better than creamy rice cooked in chicken stock. But the Pumpkin Risotto probably isn't what you would expect. Most of the time pumpkin is used in recipes it's a sweet recipe. Cakes, breads, pancakes, etc. But in this dish, pumpkin shines in a savory role.

This recipe may be 9 pts per serving, but it's a generous serving of slightly more than a cup. Plus, with the fiberlicious pumpkin, it's a fairly filling meal. And on a rainy dreary evening like tonight, it was the perfect dish.

A few notes: The originally recipe calls for 2 tbsp of oil and a cup of cheese, both of which I cut significantly. It also calls for a 1/4 tsp of red pepper. If you like spicy food, put in the full amount. If you are a little spice shy, I would use no more than 1/8 tsp. It has quite a bit of heat as orginally written.

Pumpkin Risotto
1 3/4 cup uncooked arborio rice
1 tbsp olive oil
1 tbsp butter
1 small onion, diced
1/2 cup Riesling or another sweet white wine
4 1/2 cup reduced-sodium chicken broth
1 1/2 cup canned pumpkin (15 oz. can)
1 1/2 tsp fresh grated ginger
1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
1/4 cup grated Parmesan cheese

Rinse the rice in a mesh strainer and drain.

In a large skillet, combine the oil, butter and onion. Saute over medium heat until the onion is soft, about 6 minutes.

Add the rice and stir until well-coated with oil and butter. Increase heat to medium-high and add the wine. Stir constantly until the wine has been absorbed.

Begin to add broth, 1/2 cup at a time, stirring constantly and adding more liquid as it is absorbed. Once the rice has absorbed all the broth, reduce heat to medium-low. Taste to check the texture. The rice should be firm, but cooked through. If the rice is too hard or dry, add additional broth, 1/2 cup at a time.

When the rice reaches the desired texture, stir in the pumpkin, ginger and cayenne pepper. Cook, stirring constantly, 2 to 3 minutes. Stir in the cheese, then season to taste with salt and pepper.

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