Monday, November 14, 2011

Risotto - A labor of love

Comfort is so yummy!!!  There is one dish that I have come to love over the past couple of years and I just can't seem to get enough of it.  I almost always will order it when I go out to eat and its on special or on the menu.  And that yummy dish is risotto.  It is always so creamy, and cheesy and just the perfect bowl of food.  One of my friends Lauren introduced me to this recipe, Pumpkin Risotto last year some time and since then I have made it several times.  The recipe title is a little deceiving as its not really pumpkin that is in the recipe rather it is butternut squash.  I am sure roasted pumpkin would be just as delicious though.  This is a Wolfgang Puck recipe and sometimes he refers to butternut squash in the recipe and sometimes he refers to pumpkin.  I was confused the first time I read over the recipe and decided to go with butternut squash as it is what is listed in the ingredients list. 

Have you ever made risotto?  It really is a labor of love and requires a lot of babysitting and time.  But trust is totally worth it.  I have made several different types of flavors and each time it is no disappointment.  I was introduced to risotto in college and have been in love ever since.  It is not the healthiest of dishes but you can absolutely make it a little more better for the waistline.  I made a couple changes this time when I made this recipe and while it was still yummy I could tell there was less butter and cheese in it.  Oh how I love cheese and butter but my thighs and butt do not ;)

As I stated in my post from this weekend, my dad was here to visit.  We went out to a nice dinner on Friday so I wanted to make a nice meal for us on Saturday.  I picked up half my ingredients at the Farmer's Market on Saturday morning and the remaining at Fresh Market.  I decided to throw some grilled shrimp on top of the risotto for some protein.

One of the main ingredients in my marinade for my shrimp was paprika. 

 My dad recently just got back from a cruise he took around Europe.  One of the gifts he brought back for me was some paprika from Budapest.  Obviously I had to use it while we here.  This paprika doesn't taste like the jarred stuff you get from the grocery store.  It was a taste between sweet and smokey.  I like!!!

I marinaded my shrimpy's for about 5 hours before cooking them but really they don't need much time.  They take on flavor very quickly.  I simply marinaded mine in:

S & P

 I then cooked them in my grill pan. 

These bad boys cook QUICK.  So don't walk away (plus you will need to be stirring you risotto anyways :)).  These little guys will be done in about 5 mins so do them at the last minute after you have added the cheese and butternut squash to the finished risotto.  Here is how I made the yummy risotto:


  • 1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil (I used about half of this to cut calories)
  • 1 cup finely chopped onion
  • 1 tablespoon chopped garlic
  • 2 cups arborio rice
  • 1 cup dry white wine (really any white wine will work.  Be sure to use one that you like though.  You can really taste the wine flavor in the finished product)
  • About 6 cups of hot chicken stock or vegetable stock
  • 1 butternut squash, one half baked in the oven and then pureed; the other half, peeled, cut into small dice, and Sauteed in a little oil and butter until tender

  • 1/2 cup grated Parmesan (I used about half)
  • 4 tablespoons unsalted butter, cut into small pieces (again used about half)


In a medium-size heavy saucepan, heat the olive oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and garlic and saute, stirring continuously, just until softened, 3 to 4 minutes.  Add the rice and continue to stir, using a wooden spoon, to coat the rice with the oil.

Add the white wine and continue cooking, stirring often, until it has been absorbed by the rice. Pour in enough chicken stock to cover the rice completely, about 3 cups, and continue to cook, stirring often, until all the liquid is absorbed.

Pour in 1 cup more of the remaining stock and stir and cook until it has been absorbed. Repeat with 1 more cup. Add the remaining cup and cook, stirring, until the rice is al dente, tender but still very chewy, and most of the liquid has been absorbed.

 Stir in the pumpkin puree and the diced pumpkin and reduce the heat to very low so that the risotto doesn't simmer anymore. Stir in the Parmesan and butter to give the risotto a nice, creamy finish. Spoon it immediately into heated shallow serving bowls.

I know this recipe is a lot of work with all the stirring and babysitting, but I assure you.  It is WELL worth it.  It is delicious.  I think my dad really enjoyed it and I am excited to eat it with my meals for the rest of the week.  This makes A TON!  Wolfgang says four servings, I say 8-10.  While I would love to have an entire bowl of this as a meal it really isn't practical for me.  I need some protein with it, so instead I eat it more as a rice side.  You won't be sorry you made this :)

Enjoy my friends!  Until next time :)



No comments:

Post a Comment