If anyone has ever made risotto then you know that it takes a bit of effort in front of the stove to prepare it... but boy, is it ever time well spent lol! The trick to a perfect creamy risotto is only use aborio rice, and keep adding in the simmering hot broth in small amounts (stirring constantly with a wooden spoon) a small amount at a time until it is fully absorbed before adding in more, you might use less than the amount stated on this recipe.... only continue to keep adding in the broth until the rice is done to a desired texture. This is a wonderful risotto recipe, especially in the cooler weather. Try to purchase Italian pancetta for this recipe, you can purchase it in any deli department or Italian store, it is very easy to find and it is much better than using bacon for this recipe.
- 1⁄2 cup butter
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 1 tablespoon minced fresh garlic (optional)
- 1⁄2 lb pancetta, diced (can use chopped bacon, but pancetta is better)
- 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
- 1⁄2 lemon, juice of
- 2 cups arborio rice (use only aborio rice for this!)
- 3 1⁄2 cups chicken broth (you might use less for the risotto, make certain that it is simmering on top of stove to add to the)
- 1 (28 ounce) can pumpkin puree
- 6 fresh sage leaves or 1⁄2 teaspoon rubbed dried sage
- 1⁄4 cup chopped fresh parsley
- 1 cup grated parmesan cheese
- In a large skillet, heat 1/4 cup butter. Add in onions, and slowly carmelize.
- When onions are browned, add in pancetta and cook until the fat is released.
- Add in the garlic (if using) and cook for another 1 minute.
- Add in the lemon zest; saute for 1 minute.
- Add in the rice and stir constantly until it absorbs all of the fat, and any liquid.
- Add in 1 cup of the simmering chicken broth; stir until it is absorbed.
- Add half of the pumpkin puree and stir until any liquid is absorbed.
- Add in another cup of stock and the remaining pumpkin and repeat process.
- Add in the lemon juice, sage and parsley, and continue with the broth until the rice is al dente.
- Stir in the cheese and remaining butter; mix until well combined.
Great side dish with a roast chicken. I had never made risotto before, and it IS labor intensive, but worth it for a special dinner. I might add a little nutmeg next time.