An Autumn treat to consider – Pumpkin Risotto with Mushrooms and Toasted Pine Nuts


Food obviously played an important role at the Plate To Page Tuscany Workshop and we did eat in between all the work. One of the dishes was this risotto that I am posting here on request. I used a pumpkin but winter squash is perfectly fine too and you can use any mushroom you can get your hands on (though not poisonous ones I hope).  I never used to cook with pumpkin or winter squash before moving to Italy but I am happy I do now, it does lend itself to so many different kinds of dishes and its sweetness often adds an extra flavour dimension. Not to talk about how nice it is to shoot, not that I got too carried away today because the rain is drizzling down and the light is grey and sad. And my oldest daughter left for Sweden again after 10 days at home. Not that we saw her that much but at least we knew she was here now and then. So please excuse my boring post and the uninspired photos, I’ll work on a change of mood for the next post later this week. 

Pumpkin Risotto with Mushrooms and Toasted Pine Nuts

4 servings

500 g/ 17.64 oz Arborio or Carnaroli rice, I used Riso Gallo, kindly provided by one of our sponsors
400 g/ 14.1 oz of pumpkin cut into small dice
1 medium onion or ½ leek

 a splash of white wine, I used a Bisol Prosecco
Ca 2 l/ca 8 cups good chicken or vegetable stock
200 g/ 7 oz mushrooms, cut into pieces

4-6 tbls pine nuts

a good handful of parmesan cheese, freshly grated

Butter or extra-virgin olive oil if you want to be healthy

 Slice the onion thinly and dice the pumpkin.

 Braise the onion gently with a generous piece of butter in a casserole or pot with a thick bottom . When the onion is transparent, you add the pumpkin and continue to braise for 3-4 minutes on medium heat. Or longer if the pumpkin seems to require it.

 Add the rice and continue to braise for some minutes, stirring all the time so that every grain of it is covered in butter. Add a good splash of white wine, cook and let it evaporate a little.

 Begin to add the first couple a ladles of stock and then go on cooking, stirring all the time until it is time to add the next ladle of stock. And this is how you have to go on until the rice is cooked and the risotto is creamy but not runny or loose, adding ladle after ladle, always stirring.

 While you work on the risotto you need to cook the mushrooms until all the water has evaporated, salt and put them aside. Toast the pine nuts in a non-stick pan and put aside.

 When the risotto is ready, add the mushrooms, pine nuts and the parmesan and stir well. Check the salt and add a knob of butter. Let it rest for a couple of minutes and serve.

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