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 thoughts on “Risotto and pumpkins… oh my!”

  1. 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.

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

  3. 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!

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

  5. 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. 🙂

  6. 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.

  7. 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.

  8. 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!

  9. 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!

  10. 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!

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

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

    Alicia – you are welcome any time!

    Lorraine – it was!

    Neil – good to know!

  13. Natalie – you are often a source of inspiration!

    High Low – It's SO good!

    Jen – oh you won't regret it!


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