Risotto and pumpkins… oh my!

Reading my way around the blogosphere this past week, there has been a plethora of great recipes involving pumpkin. Two that caught my eye were Natalie’s Fiscalini cheddar risotto stuffed squash and Paula’s Risotto alla Zucca (pumpkin risotto).

I was particularly interested in these because 1) I knew I had a bunch of different squash type vegetables arriving in our organic box on Friday and 2) I needed a dinner that was easy to eat on the porch as we handed out candy to trick or treaters. We always have a few friends over to help – friends who live in apartments or condos and who don’t have kids coming round – and have a nice dinner and a few glasses of wine – much to the envy of the poor harangued parents taking their kids out. One year we ought to have adult tricks (i.e. wine!) to hand out. Some of those mums and dads looked like they needed a glass….

Anyway, I digress…

I loved the look of Natalie’s stuffed squash but the ones I was using would not have held much risotto had I not scraped some of the flesh out. I thought Paula’s risotto in Natalie’s squash would make a great compromise! So I simply halved them, salted, peppered and nutmegged them and roasted them for about two hours on 325F until the flesh was scoopable.

Once they were roasted, I scraped the flesh out and mashed it with a decent gob of butter (prob around 2 tablespoons). I seasoned with salt, pepper and more nutmeg and set it aside.

I followed Natalie’s recipe to a T making the risotto up until the point where you add the cheese. At this point, I moved over to Paula’s recipe, adding the squash puree with the cheese (I didn’t have any exotic cheeses on hand, just Parmesan and aged Gouda so that’s what I used).

Once I had stuffed them, I let them sit for about 30 minutes on top of a warm stove – we weren’t quite ready to eat. Just before I popped them in the oven at 350F for about 20 minutes, I sprinkled more grated cheese on top.

After 20 minutes warming through, I placed them under the broiler on high for about 5 minutes to make sure the cheese was brown.

The result? Cheese + risotto + butternut squash = perfect “sitting on the porch handing out candy to trick or treaters” meal. Easy to eat and warming. And more-ish. Even hard core carnivore Neil (who looked dubiously at his plate when I gave it to him) said he could and would have eaten more!!!

Thanks Nat and Paula for the inspiration!

Today is your last day to “buzz” my Pesto deconstructed pizzas here so I can demo my menu item in the Bertolli Sauce kitchen at the Foodbuzz Blogger Festival in San Francisco on November 7th!


34 Responses to Risotto and pumpkins… oh my!

  1. Jamie November 1, 2009 at 12:25 #

    Wow! Now THAT is a squash risotto! I love the serving it in the shell. Beautiful! And now I want pumpkin risotto too!

  2. pegasuslegend November 1, 2009 at 12:47 #

    Awesome and delicious looking 🙂

  3. MaryMoh November 1, 2009 at 12:48 #

    I hv never tried a squash risotto. But that looks so interesting and creative. I would love that. Squash is such a lovely, healthy food. I love it.

  4. French Cooking for Dummies November 1, 2009 at 12:53 #

    OMG, this recipe is awesome! I wish I could get a bite right now!

  5. Cocina Savant November 1, 2009 at 13:29 #

    wow! this looks absolutely delicious!! risotto and just about any form of squash is tasty! can't wait to try it out!

  6. jen laceda November 1, 2009 at 13:29 #

    Looks beautiful. I think my little one will enjoy the presentation! In a pumpkin shell!

  7. Martha November 1, 2009 at 13:46 #

    That looks delicious! And that's a good idea to have liquid treats for parents next Hallowe'en. We have a neighbour who hands out shots of Baileys!

  8. Cookin' Canuck November 1, 2009 at 13:56 #

    What a great way to combine these two recipes. The finished product looks beautiful and delicious! Your friends must have been thrilled!

  9. Vicky November 1, 2009 at 14:40 #

    Wow, thanks for this! My recipes with pumpkin have been very simple, and I'm always looking for a way to make low sugar sweet pumpkin stuff. I should pay more attention to making it as a side that wouldn't involve sugar to begin with. Ah well. Any pumpkin works, and this squash looks fanstastic! Thanks. 🙂

  10. Divina Pe November 1, 2009 at 14:48 #

    Yum, delicious. Two great recipes combined into a fantastic one. Double the goodness of butternut squash. I absolutely love them. I better hunt them down. I heard they're available in the Philippines.

  11. Chow and Chatter November 1, 2009 at 14:56 #

    this looks awesome oh i hear ya on relaxing a lil. and great presentation

  12. April Cavin November 1, 2009 at 15:11 #

    Looks so good!

  13. Brie: Le Grand Fromage November 1, 2009 at 15:16 #

    mmm, gorgeous! that works so well together and i bet it was delicious!

  14. Fresh Local and Best November 1, 2009 at 15:52 #

    This looks like such an awesome dish! I love the photo of the halved nutmeg, it's so cool!

  15. My Man's Belly November 1, 2009 at 18:17 #

    That looks fantastic! I've been working with a lot of pumpkin lately, but I've got 2 butternut squash in my garden that are ready to be stuffed.

  16. Paula - bell'alimento November 1, 2009 at 18:45 #

    Mardi, this is simply beautiful! I'm so glad I could lend a little inspiration. I love it! Beautiful presentation 🙂 You've inspired me now!

  17. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 1, 2009 at 18:52 #

    Jamie – it's so simple but serving it in the shell really makes a difference.

    Pegasuslegend – thanks!

    Mary – you should def try this.

    French cooking – I wish there were leftovers!

    Cocina, Jen – thanks and yes, easy AND pretty!

    Martha – shots of Bailey's? I love it!

    Cookin' Canuk – they were pretty happy, yes!

    Vicky – this is pretty healthy.

    Divina – definitely worth hunting them down.

    Chow, April – thanks!

    Brie – oh SO good!

    Fresh Local – yes I was rather proud of the nutmeg picture too!

    My Man's Belly – oh, squash from your garden! How great!

    Paula – thank YOU!

  18. CaptnRachel aka Tha Pizza Cutta November 1, 2009 at 19:33 #

    Oh my word doesn't this just look warm and devourable!!

  19. Miranda November 1, 2009 at 19:37 #

    Very lovely recipe! It looks wonderful!!!!
    I also would like to thank you for the wonderful comments!!!

  20. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 1, 2009 at 19:51 #

    Rachel – I love it – "devourable"!!!

    Miranda – you're welcome. Good luck! and thanks.

  21. Simply Life November 1, 2009 at 22:13 #

    WOW. That looks AMAZING!!!

  22. Kelly November 1, 2009 at 22:23 #

    That looks SO amazing! What a perfect Halloween treat!!!

  23. Lori Lynn November 2, 2009 at 00:28 #

    Looks great, love seasonal cooking.
    That IS a plethora of squash!
    See you in SF!

  24. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 2, 2009 at 00:59 #

    Simply Life – thanks!

    Kelly – It was!

    Lori – can't wait to meet you!

  25. penny aka jeroxie November 2, 2009 at 01:08 #

    I am loving this. Too bad cold weather is over. Must remember this for next year!

  26. Alicia November 2, 2009 at 05:16 #

    As one who was privileged to enjoy this lovely autumnal meal, it truly was delicious and I loved it served in the squash itself. So yummy. Thanks Mardi!

  27. Lorraine @ Not Quite Nigella November 2, 2009 at 06:45 #

    That looks absolutely mouthwatering! Just as well I have dinner up soon or I'd be so frustrated! 😛

  28. Neil C. Phillips November 2, 2009 at 12:53 #

    Agree with Alicia – this one's a repeat.

    As for me, my job was to roast the seeds from our pumpkin…yum.

  29. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 2, 2009 at 14:16 #

    Penny – lucky you the cold weather is over!!!

    Alicia – you are welcome any time!

    Lorraine – it was!

    Neil – good to know!

  30. Natalie November 2, 2009 at 15:41 #

    YUMMM this looks so delicious and makes me want some cheesy risotto tonight! I'm glad I could inspire you 😉

  31. high low November 3, 2009 at 00:32 #

    Sounds so warm and comforting! Looks really good!

  32. Jen @ My Kitchen Addiction November 3, 2009 at 01:50 #

    Looks and sounds wonderful… I will definitely have to make some of this!

  33. Mardi @eatlivetravelwrite November 3, 2009 at 02:24 #

    Natalie – you are often a source of inspiration!

    High Low – It's SO good!

    Jen – oh you won't regret it!

  34. The Best Family November 7, 2009 at 17:50 #

    that looks wonderful! i am so intimidated by risotto, and i just need to get over it and try it.

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